Twenty: The Me Age

At least, for me it was. Not much was happening. I was studying less (even with a double major in English and Psychology), maintaining great grades, and playing a lot more–dates, parties, football games!

I have not mentioned home much lately. I went home occasionally on weekends, but I had weaned away. I had my own car (a gift from Santa), so I was free to travel back and forth as much as I pleased.

Until I became the mother of adult children, I didn’t fully realize the significance of an incident that happened about this time.

I failed to call my mother on  Mother’s Day until very late in the day. It was obvious by her tone that she was hurt and angry, and at first, I didn’t understand why. Then she told me. I might as well not have called at all, she said, if I was too busy to do it earlier. Was she overly sensitive? Or was I terribly insensitive, too caught up in my own little life? Or maybe she simply felt me pulling away, and it was that sense of loss that hurt her more than the late phone call. She’d had her share of disappointments, after all.

The old house would have to do.

There was the house they didn’t build, even after buying land and hiring an architect. They had the plans and were set to go when my father balked. He was fourteen years older than Mother, and he worried about her being left alone on that hill out in the country. He wanted to be sure that I would be taken care of, too, if something happened to him. So they abandoned my mother’s dream house. She had worked alongside my father for years. They still shared a house with my grandmother.

Wasn’t it time she had something to call her own?

Maybe it seemed to her that I was having all the things she’d dreamed of. I don’t doubt that she was proud of me, though. That was clear, and I was ashamed for neglecting her that day.

We were so mature. We thought swapping sweatshirts was cute.



Shall I add here that I was in love? That cute boy from the Mississippi Delta, the one with the blue, blue eyes, was turning out to be the one.

I wish I’d been more thoughtful of my mother that day. Is there anything in your young past that you wish you could go back and undo?