Mothers Know: An Evening Out with My Mother

I recently spent a couple of days at the beach with my mom.  She is a mother of three and grandmother of five.  I deeply respect her wisdom, especially when it comes to parenting.  (Well, she did a pretty good job with the three of us, anyway.)

We did some shopping, bought shoes, ate out, went to the nail salon.  Typical mother-daughter fare.  So we were out to dinner; we went to a favorite spot of hers that I'd never tried.  I ordered a fancy drink and we were diving into a delicious appetizer.

Then it happened.  A wave of guilt the size of a tsunami.

I was having fun.  I was having fun and I realized it.  How could I possibly have fun while my son sits in a 6 X 9 cell?  I almost dropped my fork.  She asked,  "What's the matter?"

I told her, "Sometimes I catch myself having fun.  I can't really have fun, Mom.  It makes me feel too guilty."

With wise eyes, my mother responded, "You have to take care of you.  You didn't make the choices he made.  You shouldn't serve his sentence with him.  You deserve to be happy."

I sipped from my cocktail, lifted my fork, and said, "I know, Mom.  I know."  And I tried to resume our laughter-filled evening without the guilt that weighed so heavily on my heart.  I know she knew I wasn't going to find that "fun" place again that night.  I know she knew I was feeling guilty.  I know because she's my mom.  And mother's just know.

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