There are few things I regret more than how I treated my parents as a teenager.
I'm not alone in feeling this way, either. Around age 13, even the best among us become capable of turning into truly obnoxious human beings. After all, it's hard to get along with your folks when you believe their sole purpose in life is to make you miserable.
Luckily, most of us outgrow this phase quickly. With time, we come to understand that our parents are people with thoughts and feelings of their very own, and it's hard not to look back and cringe at those angst-filled years.
So in honor of Mothers' Day, it's time to make amends. Here are 15 things we want to apologize for on behalf of our teenage selves.
(PS: It goes without saying that dads deserve plenty of thanks for all this, too. Don't worry, their day is just around the corner.)
1. For not appreciating your cooking
There is nothing like eating cereal for dinner for the third night in a row to make you appreciate the meals of your childhood. Mom's ability to work, then go to the grocery store and then prepare a meal for multiple people is seriously some super-hero level stuff. Even if she simply brought home a pizza, it ultimately didn't matter. Too often we scarfed down family meals without a real thank you. That was wrong, and we're sorry.
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2. For hogging the radio in the car
As children of the '50s, '60s and '70s, our moms have some pretty fantastic tunes to share with us. Unfortunately, we couldn't hear them over to the steady stream of early 2000s Top 40 and B*Witched CDs we blasted as soon as we got into the car. Our bad.
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3. For needing rides everywhere
You drove us to school. To the mall. To friends' houses. To soccer practice. To dance class. To piano lessons. Sometimes, you'd even wait around until we were done with whatever it was we were doing just so you could drive us back home. We could give you some retroactive gas money, but that doesn't come close to repaying you for this.
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4. For acting embarrassed to be seen with you
Early childhood may be full of the desire to show off in front of you and Dad, but there comes a time in every kid's life when being seen with your parents becomes deeply uncool. This meant that not only did you often play personal chauffeur, but that once you dropped us off we had the nerve to act utterly mortified to be in your presence.
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5. For making you to sit through every recital, game, choir concert, etc.
Moms were often our biggest cheerleaders. We'd like to think all those sporting events and kiddie recitals were enjoyable, but they probably got a little old after a while. We still really appreciated spotting you in the crowd; though perhaps outwardly tempered, our desire to make you proud didn't die with the onset of puberty.
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6. For not checking in enough
It might have felt excessive to receive calls or texts from you every few hours, but now that we're old enough to see how thoughtless teenagers can be, we understand your concern. In hindsight, we should have been more sensitive to your perfectly understandable desire to make sure we were alive.
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7. For asking you to bail us out
Even if it meant picking us up from that weird party where we weren't supposed to be, you were there whenever we really needed you. We shouldn't have gone in the first place, so thank you.
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8. For complaining about school
It may have taken us a couple years to figure out, but whining about things doesn't make them any better. Thank you for listening to us moan about teachers and homework, and then still having the patience to double check our assignments, remind us to study and endure the hellish cycle of college applications. We couldn't have gotten through it without you.
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9. For being loud when we came home late
Once you live with roommates, you realize how annoying it is when someone lets doors slam or stomps around at night. You also realize that you probably woke your parents up every time you came home late from a party, not matter how stealthy you thought you were.
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10. For sulking at holidays
We might not have told you how much we loved holidays growing up, because doing so meant admitting we thought hanging out with our parents was cool. But after moving away from home, you really miss being able to be there for all those special occasions.
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11. For yelling at you
Raise your hand if you've ever shouted, "MOOOOOOOM!" across the house when you needed help with, well, pretty much anything. We see now that that was rude. Very, very rude.
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12. For being moody. And dramatic. And making sure you knew it.
Teenagers can be ... intense. But how cool is it to know that you could talk to your mom about anything, and she would listen, understand and support you — and still want you to call her more often?
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13. For not listening to your problems
You were basically our therapist, and we didn't return the favor nearly enough. Now that we're older, know that we're here when you need to talk.
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14. For not telling you we're proud of you
The closer we get to having kids of our own, the more the difficulty of being a parent is sinks in. This is a tough job, and we didn't tell you enough that you were really, really good at it. But because we now also realize that there are things in your life besides us, it's high time we tell you how proud we are of everything else you do, too. Whether its getting a new job, finishing that novel, joining a gym or just being a strong, good-hearted person, Kanye said it best: "I wanna scream so loud for you, 'cause I'm so proud of you."
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15. For not saying "I love you" enough
It felt sappy and weird and uncool in high school. We see the errors of our ways. Love you so much, Mom!