Becky was my wild child. I understand that there is an ancient mother’s curse:
“May you grow up to have a child just like YOU!”
Eve probably started it and it’s been in force ever since. I suspect that in our case we were probably too much alike in all the ways that lead to potential conflict. The thing is, she didn’t start out that way.
Becky was born in 1974 and was an adorable baby (of course I could be biased). I still remember the first time her father held her. I think he was disappointed that she wasn’t a boy. That first time he held her in his arms, though, it was all over. From that point on, she was daddy’s little girl. Becky was also my parent’s first grandchild. My mother made a point of inviting us to dinner the day Becky came home from the hospital and then spent the afternoon holding her.
Becky was three and a half when her brother was born. I did my best to prepare her and I must have done a pretty good job. When Jesse was born, he was “our” baby and she developed a close bond with her little brother. After she started school, one of her favorite games was playing school — she was the teacher, of course. I always knew the teaching style of her current teacher because that’s what she used on her poor little brother!
Becky’s teen years were turbulent, to say the least. I’ve said sometimes that when she turned 13 she turned into the wicked witch of the west. Becky tested every limit and seemed to go out of her way to try my patience. We’ve had several serious talks about that time and some of the motivations behind both our actions at the time. I like to think it’s helped our adult relationship and will help her with her own daughter.
Becky grew up really fast when she got pregnant at 16. When she decided to keep the baby, it was with a clear understanding of the responsibilities she was taking on. Her pregnancy was a wake-up call of sorts. She straightened herself out, worked hard in school, and ended up graduating from high school a year early. Not bad for a girl who wasn’t sure she would even finish high school!
Today, Becky is a busy woman with two children and one grandchild. Her life as a single mom hasn’t been easy, but I am very proud of her and how hard she has worked to support her family.