The Little Things

The little things matter to me. A lot. When my best friend gets me a card, I save it and read it when I feel upset or whatever. When my sister-in-law/mom/caregiver/guardian does anything motherly, I remember it. Last night, I went to Wal-Mart and she called me and asked me to please park close and call her when I got in the store, in light of some violence there recently. I laughed it off and said okay, but it meant a lot that she cared. Because it’s something a mom would say to her kid.

I don’t get that a lot. This is not a please-feel-sorry-for-me post or story, but it’s a fact. I don’t live with my parents, I live with my brother and sister-in-law. My dad, who lives approximately seven minutes away, talks to me, on average, about twice a month, usually to ask me to take my little sister home after church. My mom’s dead. So the stuff a lot of people take for granted- the mom stuff that they get- I don’t. It’s little things, but I remember it.

For the most part, I am full of acceptance for my situation, and I realize I am very, very lucky for having them to take me in when I was faced with living a very different life than the one they gave me. I miss my mom fiercely, but I accept she is gone. I miss my dad, too, but I accept that he’s who he is and is not gonna change. For the most part. But lately, I’ve been having these milestones- turning 16, senior pictures, senior year, and it’s getting bittersweet. Some times when I call L to tell her something, a little part of me wishes I could call my mom and hear what she would have to say about it. I just want to hear that she would be proud of me, the way L is when my niece or nephew do something. I get it. I’m not their kid. I get it! But seeing it is so hard. Watching them get what I wish I had is so hard. Because it’s right there, all the time. So when I get a piece of it, a glimpse of what it would have felt like- I remember it.

Even though some of me just wants that feeling, a lot of it is that I want her. I don’t want a mom, I want my mom. I want her to roll her eyes and tell me I am just like her. I want to be like her. Christmas is coming, and I’m really excited. I love Christmas! But that morning, I’ll be slightly off ease. For a minute, I’ll remember that although I’ve spent the last four Christmases with them, I’m really not a part of that perfect picture family. It’s them and it’s me, and mostly I can’t tell the difference, but there are flashes where I feel it. And so when we walk into the living room, I’ll smile and laugh and mostly be totally into exactly what we’re doing. But then I’ll remember, for a second, who’s missing. And it will hurt. It will be bittersweet. But L will tell me to hurry and get by the fireplace for the picture, a little thing. But I’ll remember.

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