I know you think I don’t understand, but I do.
I really do.
I understand that you like your definition of the word “understand” better than mine. And I understand it’s because mine has a distinct Merriam-Webster feel to it, while yours is a bisque of irritation, id, and the firstborn self-righteousness you probably got from me.
I understand that you’re bored, not hungry, and that your expression means you’re hiding something.
I understand what our night (and entire next day) will look like if I let you stay up. And that you’re stalling right now. Go to sleep.
I understand which friends are good for you and which ones aren’t. And how sharing this information has to be done in a well-thought-out, chess-like manner. (And that I’m running out of time to learn how to play chess.)
I understand how important it is to you that we make it through a middle school’s worth of kids to partake in “Free Slurpee” day (even though technically, it’s always free Slurpee day for you).
I understand that in order to be your best friend one day I have to be your mother right now, which means I often take on the profile of a perceived enemy (with the added bonus of limited personal choices).
I understand that no one sees my failures as glaringly as you do. That you find the things I hide from other people, and that you can dig up just about anything else. But hopefully one day you’ll understand that that is why I understand you.
And before you charge me otherwise, I understand what it feels like to be accused of not understanding when I totally do understand. And I understand what it feels like to be trapped in the elusive ring of hell while someone else convinces herself that I’m wrong and she’s right. And I understand why some moms drink. Early in the day. And why a mom might want to scream OH SHUT UP! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. And how it won’t do any good. (The yelling part, not the drinking. That might help.)
So really, I do understand.
You’re the one who doesn’t.
©2012 CEK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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