Disclaimer: I apologize in advance to my family for writing about family matters. Sorry, not sorry. In all seriousness though I come from what most people would call a broken home or at the least a “dysfunctional family”.
That might be true if I were to write this story back in 1997 when things were pretty fucking dysfunctional. I think 97 may have been the year I ran away to live with a friend who lived in a cow barn. You know for a “better life”. My mother went full CSI and tracked me down.
So I’m 14 sitting in a somewhat converted cow barn home. I’m secretly thinking “this is not what I expected” . My friend hears a noise outside and peers out the window. It was my mother wobbling down the road in her little green excel. A road that only 4WD vehicles should probably navigate.
Fuck. I’m dead. Why? Why couldn’t she just leave me for the night and wait until I came crawling back? Obviously, I’m not going to spend eternity living in a cow barn home. I had not even asked my friend’s parents if I could move in. I was a teenage twit.
Whenever I crossed the line my mother went full hulk. She has this level of anger where she looks like a man. No kidding, sorry mum. It’s like the angry dad I never had storming down the cobbled drive ready to rip your arm into the car so hard it comes out of its socket.
You know something, though. We are not broken. We are not dysfunctional We are united.
My younger sister had to watch me being a dick of a teen. I’m just happy – although no teenager is perfect – she didn’t take the same road. My sister is a cosplay loving nerd. It’s awesome. I’m happy because she won’t run through the same regrets in her mind that I have.
I’m happy because if we had of both been teenage tosswaffles we probably wouldn’t get along at all and our mother would have met an early grave. There are some things I will always keep private but we have been through hell.
There are different levels of hell, we sit on the top. We are lucky. But hell nonetheless. We share things in common – like cherishing the parent that did all the hard work.
Our mum stands on the sideline and cheers us on.
I know my mother thinks we don’t tell each other “I love you” enough. I think she worries something will happen to one of us and we will regret not talking more. My sister and I are on different paths in life but when we collide its fresh, new, hilarious. We know family matters.
We love each other. But if it’s ever in doubt it will be forever printed on the internet.
Heidi, my little sister, I LOVE YOU