My Real Life

February 7, 2018

My Mom Knows What You Did

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:30 pm

Every time I visit my parent’s house, whether it’s a long visit or just popping in to say “hi,” my Mom sends me home with crap.

Now, granted, it’s all my crap, but it is crap, nonetheless.

I’m not sure how it’s taking up much space in her house, and I definitely don’t have space for it in my house, but I can foresee the day when I’m trying to shovel my grown children’s crap out of this house so I take it with a smile.

A few weeks ago, my Mom asked Monkey in the Middle (who will be 14 in not so many days from now) to grab a large cardboard box out of her basement and put it in the back of my car. He’s a good boy and does what Grandma asks, so before I could protest, it was on the way home with me. I haven’t, however, had the time to look through it, and so it has stayed closed and in the car for weeks.

A few days ago, we had a snow day, and so I took it as my opportunity to open the box and see what treasures awaited.

As it turned out, it was full of books from college. There were books that I read for pleasure and there were the kids books that I read as part of my Teaching Reading class. I’ve been selling everything around here that isn’t nailed down, so when I looked at the pile of books, I saw dollar signs.

Once I had removed the books, I found the real treasure in the box.

My high school and college journals.

Jack – freaking – pot.

I spent the next three hours reading my daily thoughts and actions from ages 15-22, and taking pictures of certain passages and texting them to Kim, which resulted in a lot of laughter and a lot of cringing.

In examining these journals, cover to cover, I came to some conclusions.



I say it all the time and I’ll say it again…

I am so very, very, very grateful that I did not grow up in the age of social media and cell phones.

I was a good kid. I really was.

I wasn’t perfect, and I made a few wrong turns along the way, but compared to what a lot of kids at the time were doing, I was a good kid.

But, I when I imagine the mistakes I made magnified by a Snapchat story or an Instagram post, it makes me shudder. Yes, they live on in those journals and in my memory (although, if I’m honest, I had forgotten quite a bit of it along the way) but I could burn the journals and never speak of what is in my memory and the world would never know.

Not the case for kids today.



My Mom read my journals.

So, to anyone with whom I interacted in any way, shape or form from 15-22…

My Mom totally knows what you did.

Quite frankly, I had completely forgotten that I had even written these journals, so, over the years, when my mother has made small, insightful comments, I’ve always thought to myself “Wow…she is SO perceptive. How did she pick up on that?”

Because I KNOW I never told her any of the things I wrote about.

So, the conversations that went like this…

Mom: “I always thought X was interested in you,” or “Didn’t you tell me this happened at X’s house?”

Me: “What? No. Why would you say that?”

Mom: “Just a feeling that I had.”

…suddenly make a lot more sense to me.



High school is hard for everyone

Even the kids who seem to have it all together

At our most recent high school reunion (25th, if you have to know) there were people who said to me “You always seemed to have it so together, Amy.”

And I laughed and laughed and laughed, because no…I most definitely did not.

But, I guess I had forgotten the extent to which I did not have it together, or just how much I worried about how I stacked up next to other kids my age, until I read those journals.

The angst. The drama. The boys.

Reading this helped to put some of the angst that I hear from my students into perspective.

I can be quick to write it off and say “Let it go,” but reading my own words yesterday reminded me of that ache and that sick feeling in your stomach.

My students will say, “He clearly opened my Snap, but hasn’t responded! Who is he snapping instead of me?”

In my journal I wrote, “I’ve called him three times in the last hour, but it’s busy. Who is he talking to?”

The examples like this are endless, but they remind me that some teenage issues are timeless. It’s only the medium that changes.

If you have any of your own journals, diaries, or whatever from your high school years, I highly suggest you peek through them.

It’ll give you a good laugh, and will remind you of how awful and amazing those years were.

And, again, if you were someone I interacted with from the ages of 15-22…good luck looking my Mom in the eye next time you see her.

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