This I believe
I believe that sometimes life forces you to grow up early….
2003 was the year I turned in my play shoes for a pair of practical ones. After several years of listening to my parent’s screaming matches, I was relieved to discover that my parents were finally separating. I knew this meant that my dad was moving out, but I had no idea what other changes this would bring.
Because of our loss of income, my mom had to work longer hours. I knew someone had to step up and take control. Being the oldest, I knew that person was me. I took on the “little mother” role. I checked to see if everyone’s homework was done. I helped with the cooking and the cleaning. I made sure my younger sisters were prepared for school the next day. I also had to do my own work on top of that. As I got older, I took on more responsibility. I drove my sisters to their various appointments. I ran errands. I did anything my mom needed me to do to lighten the load.
As I look back, I don’t have a single complaint. I know I may have missed out on some things, and my mom regrets putting me in that position, but it was my choice. I knew what I had to do. My mom works very hard to provide for our family. It’s a way for me to say thank you. My mom always calls me “her rock,” and I love the fact that I can be there for her. My only fear is that when I go away to college, she will have to struggle. That’s what scares me the most, not being there for my family.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.