I have a pretty great memory as far as it goes. I remember living in Indiana, moving to Texas when I was 5, living in apartments where the ceiling leaked in my bedroom. But one of the weirdest of my memories is being 7 or 8 and getting asked if my mom was my sister. I just assumed everyone’s mom was less than 20 years older than them. Well, I found out pretty quickly that that wasn’t the case.
I don’t have many friends whose parents were teenagers when they had them, so I’ve never really embraced it until recently. When I was about 11/12, I was still trying to figure myself out (still am, but that’s besides the point) The last thing I wanted to hear was that I looked like, talked like, walked like, or reminded someone of my mom. I remember thinking “I am not Jennifer and I don’t want to be known as Jennifer’s daughter! I just want to be known as Chayli!”
I’m sure this isn’t just a kid-of-a-teen-parent problem. I bet it happens to lot of people. But when you’re growing up with your mom, you’re both finding your identity (even if she’s in her 20’s still). I had a friend with a sister the same age as my mom. I just wanted everything to be normal. I didn’t have anyone to relate to.
But there was a hidden gem in the Word that the Lord showed to me that gave me great comfort in being the kid of a teen mom. You know who else was? Jesus. The Big Kahoona. The Man. The Boss. Man, that feels good! There are so many subjects that I want to talk about in the future about how Jesus can relate to us. But this subject is a sweet spot for me.
As I’ve grown into the mold God has given me to fill, I’ve recognized my mama more. I’ve embraced the fact that I’m the “darker version” of her. I’ve embraced the fact that I sound like her and sometimes we even say the same thing at the same time in the same tone. Weird, but true. I’ve, most importantly, embraced the fact that she is my best friend.
Even over the past few months, the love for my mom has skyrocketed. From sitting with a friend who lost her mom recently (and had the same age difference with her mom as I do with mine) to watching Gilmore Girls and oddly relating to Lorelai and Rory, I’ve learned to have nothing but love for my mother.
Now, we do still get on each other’s nerves. That’s not an absent factor, but it’s not a major one. I’m more smart eleck-y than my mom (one thing I get from my dad) and I drive her up the wall with my reasoning sometimes. But hey, what’s not to love? (Just kidding ✋🏼😂)
She’s always said “I’m your mother first and then your friend. It can’t be the other way around.” Sometimes it’s better that way because she keeps me in line.
Luck has nothing to do with me ending up with someone like her. She grew up in a family with a love for kids. Abortion or adoption was never an option. She loved me even before I was born. Don’t tell me luck or coincidence was the reason I’m alive. I’m alive because of mercy.
I would like to be a lot of things in my lifetime. I want to sing and travel the world. I want to be a wife, be a mom. I want to remain close to my brother and be the best big sister I can be for him. I want to be a lot of things and I’ve been a lot of things. If anything, though, I’m totally fine with being known as Jennifer’s daughter. In fact, I’m proud to be.
Verse: “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Song: “Hey Mama” by Hollyn from self-titled EP Hollyn (2015)