Most of my years growing up, I was too mischievous for my own good. My mother told me I was born wearing golden boxing gloves; a powerfully strong infant, weighing 10 pounds and 4 ounces, prepared for a fighting match.
One evening when I was five, my mother went to dinner with a friend. Our favorite grandmother, Grammy Lou, was the baby-sitter for Ross, my four-year-old brother, and me. The moment my mother drove away, I took a bottle of children's chewable, orange-flavored aspirin from the medicine cabinet and dangled it in front of Ross’ nose. This bottle had no safety lid and I opened it with ease. I told Ross the aspirin was candy and I watched him eat every one!
When my mother returned a couple of hours later, she noticed Ross sprawled on the living room floor while Grammy Lou and I watched television. Grammy and I thought Ross was asleep. When my mother was unable to rouse Ross for bed, she asked, “Debbie, what’s wrong with Ross?!” I told her it could be because of some baby aspirin. When she asked how many, I showed her the empty bottle. I watched her face turn to shock. She asked how many tablets he ate and I said, “All of them. He thought they were candy!”
My mother called 911 and an ambulance arrived minutes later. After having his stomach pumped, Ross was required to remain overnight in the hospital. When my mother arrived home without him, I began crying hysterically. I thought I killed him and it was then I knew how much I loved my brother.
Because of this incident, and years of shenanigans as a teenager, I told my mother I’d decided to never marry or have children. I was terrified karma would provide a tiny version of myself, a mini me. She told me one day I’d change my mind. She was convinced I’d be a wonderful mother.
As an adult, the times of my life continued. There were more friends than I could count. Together, we attended endless parties, concerts, social events and other invitations. I believed I would live life this way until finally skidding to my grave.
When I was 33, I drank myself into a terrifying stupor, while angels floated about my head. When I awoke, a revelation had taken place; an epiphany, if you will. What I’d been doing most of my years wasn’t the way I wanted to live the rest of my days. I knew I wanted to lead a calmer existence; be married and become a mother.
At 36 years of age, my visions began coming true. I married and seven months later, learned I was pregnant. I was positive I was going to have a girl; little did I know another plan was in store. After 60 hours of labor, a healthy, screaming boy was placed in my arms.
Spencer, my son, is nearly 13-years-old now. He’s providing an image of how growing up can be; he’s nothing like me as a child. While I’m still boisterously outgoing, he’s on the quiet side. In school, I struggled with my studies, bringing home D’s and F’s on my report card and yet, never skipped class. Spencer maintains his honor roll status with ease. While I have a lot of fire in my temperament and can be high strung, Spencer is peaceful. At times, I envy this quality.
Although I divorced eight years ago, Spencer and I are surrounded by our exceptional family of friends. Too, he and I have each other. We run our ranch to several rescued farm animals; living a healthy, fulfilled, wholesome and organic life. Together, Spencer and I are strong.
When my mother was dying, she promised to guide Spencer and me from above. I was concerned I wouldn’t be the best mother to Spencer without her direction. It’s been over nine years since she passed; I continue doing as I believe she would suggest.
My mother was right in the wisdom she relayed when I was a teenager. Because of Spencer, I’m more than I ever imagined possible. With Spencer, I’m learning all I need to know about life.
When I was five, I went to my brother
with candied pills, hidden by our mother
He gobbled them up because he knew
if they came from me, they’d be good for you
The minutes passed and his eyes rolled back
from the aspirin making his heart attack
Grammy and I sat watching TV
while Ross tried to sit and be with me
Collapsed on the floor without a sound
his world was spinning ‘round and ‘round
Mom came home and found him still
the ambulance came and with the will
Of help from them and up above
I learned it’s Ross I dearly love
The years rolled past; I became a mother
to you, my son, there is no other
Who teaches me of a better way
to be who I am, to have my say
Free from anger, fear and pain
to smell the fragrance of the rain
You tell me when my impatience flares
with those who only have their cares
And miss the beating of other hearts
here with us, is where it starts
Because of you, I’ve grown to be
a little more patient; more carefree
Of making life too complicated
the person I was before you, I hated
Our life is rich in so many ways
we’re strong together, even on those days
When it seems our backs are against the wall
we remind each other to stand quite tall
When the rubber meets the road, it’s me and you
we know somewhere, out of the blue
Great news is bound to come our way
perhaps on the dawning of this day
I’m raising you and we will see
the person I’m still learning to be.