The Rise of the EMO Mommy

We’ve all seen the Emo kids. Heck, back in my day, we were called “goth” or some other form of teen creature who wore all black, a lot of black eyeliner and trench-coats when it was 100 degrees. I wasn’t that deep. (I was more of a thrash/speed metal gal.) Yes, there was a lot of black worn, but I like to think I mixed it up with my ripped, acid-wash denim, spikes on my bracelets, and Keds.

I oozed rebel cool and aqua net.

Well, I thought I did. Secretly, I carried around copies of Walden, works by Shakespeare, and read Vogue. There really is no wonder why people couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t relate to me. I was weird. Wait, I still am.

I played really hard at being the bad-ass. Hard. Metal. My nickname was “Junior” after Dave Ellefson from Megadeth. My best mate’s nickname was “Megadeth.” We rocked our way around Europe together; April carrying a skate board, me carrying a camera. She checked out all the boys, I was busy taking shots of what we saw (including the boys). We decided together it was best to skip the Louvre in Paris and take off for Jim Morrison’s grave at the Pere Lachaise. I was 15, she was 16.

The entire time, we pretended to be hard as nails. Secretly, we were both introverted creatives who poured our  hearts out through letters that I still have in a box in my closet. April, the artist, always filled mine with drawings of powerful women, muscular men, and creatures that would frighten most. Many from her imagination, others inspired by what she was reading. I was chubby, she was rail thin. We were each others yin and yang.

To the outside world, it looked as if we didn’t care. Inside, we were both damaged young women, being raised by single mothers and doing quite a bit of growing up on our own… and with each other.

Today, as I sat here with my son, I burst into tears as I thought of him leaving home in five years for college. My own mother raged at me and told me I couldn’t go away to school. I’m pretty sure it was anger… or jealousy. She had eloped at 16 and had me at 17. I was experiencing my teen years, and while I could be difficult, I wasn’t one to get in trouble, or create it. Just the opposite. I was happiest hiding in my room, reading, listening to music, writing, doing my own thing. I’m pretty sure April’s Mom did the same things. However, April was smart and picked a college in the same town as her Grandparents. (We were very thankful for them when my adorable black Pontiac Fiero was towed from her campus for being illegally parked.)

Now, I’m not going to rage. We have children, knowing that one day, God-willing, they are going to grow up and fly the proverbial coop. That much I do know. What I don’t know where he’ll go to school, what he’ll major in, etc. Right now, your guess is as good as mine, but I’m laying my eggs in the world domination basket. Heck in another 10 years, he could be living in my basement, still playing Minecraft and building Legos.

What I do know is, now I’m happy to let those feelings show. I’m a water sign, for pete’s sake. We cry at the drop of a hat. Even during my hard metal years, I cried, but always in private, afraid to let people know just how soft I really was. April cried too. We’ve cried together. We’ve laughed together. We spent a good many years apart, growing up. Heck, we’re in our 40’s and still growing up. (It’s a Gen-X thing.)

And yes, we are still friends. She’s still in the honeymoon phase with her mid-20’s Aussie husband. (April married the man she used to draw for all intents and purposes. Can’t say I blame her.)  I’m rolling with my hubby who’s starting to show silver in his sideburns and celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary this week. Ironically enough, we celebrate on her birthday. (It wasn’t a conscious decision to get married on her birthday — a coin toss decided the day.) But, it’s had me thinking about her, about my own son, and how two women who used to listen to guitars crunching as fast as they could be humanly played, and driving faster, could turn out the way we have.

We’re not perfect. We’re sappy old sods, who prefer a well-made cup of coffee and culinary adventures to fast-food and Marlboro’s these days. We’ve grown up by letting ourselves feel and letting the world know we know how to feel. Just don’t tell us how to feel, because then our old hard habits might come back out for a visit.

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