"Mom, you're so embarrassing!"
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
It was my husband's birthday yesterday, and normally this would have been a license for me to get wasted. In the past, I would have used this as an open invitation to get after it, since he would be looking to have more than one drink too, or we would have plans with friends to go out. I even had the realization this week that his birthday is on a Friday - and I actually caught myself thinking, "oh too bad it wasn't on a Friday last year when I was still drinking!"
And then I caught myself, and I fast forwarded the tape a little and realized, I never remembered the ending to the night I drank, I never enjoyed the actually dinner, and I was never actually present for the evening. I was always thinking about my next drink and not even concentrating on what we were celebrating in the first place. The next morning, I always woke up feeling awful for the whole next day. None of that was ever very fun to me. I always hated myself a tiny bit more every time.
We obviously celebrated differently this year. We didn't plan a huge party, and we took the kids out for dinner. We celebrated in the best way we know how - together as a family. The word celebrate doesn't just mean popping the champagne and acting sloppy all night.
Instead, I was present, and even though I was tired and dinner was booked at the last minute, it was great. I wasn't looking for an escape from them or hoping to numb out behind my wine. And during dinner my husband made me realize something.
The boys were complaining about something I did earlier this week. I unknowingly unmuted myself on the remote curriculum night zoom call Thursday night and started talking to people at soccer practice, while holding my phone, thus disrupting Chase's teacher's 3rd grade presentation. After discussing travel soccer, the weather and town field hockey with a friend for about a minute, it wasn't until I got five or six text messages from people telling me I wasn't on mute that I realized my mistake. I felt badly for being that mom and disrupting Chase's teachers slideshow. I did find it funny though.
When I laughingly told the kids later, they said."Mom you're so embarrassing!"
They retold the story at dinner last night to their dad, and Evan interrupted them and said, "You should never be embarrassed by anything your mom does, you should be nothing but proud of her!" And the kids hugged me, and I felt a shift in their demeanor, as if they understood what their father was saying. I love Evan so much for this, and what he said stuck with me.
Moments like that never happened when I was drinking.
Evan later explained to me it's a silly example but he no longer lives in fear of me making mistakes, hurting anyone or embarrassing anyone or myself because of alcohol. He knows everything I do, I do with the purest of intentions now because I am sober. I wasn't stupidly interrupting Mrs. Colwell's presentation on Thursday because I was drunk. That would not have been very funny. We would not be able to sit around laughing about it, because it would be speaking to a larger issue of mine.
It is so comforting to know that I am free from ever feeling the control of alcohol on my life ever again. Or rather, the lack of control. I know that the person I am and the silly mistakes I make are not because I am drunk and my family loves me more for them.