I was a fearless child, not afraid of mostly…anything. Most kids would scream at the sight of a spider but I was the kid that played with them. I would tease the kids who fear to even watch a horror movie or go down into their basement.
However, it wasn’t until one day when I was eight when my fearlessness disappeared and my feeling of fear started to develop towards my only sanctuary. I never would have guessed that my one and only fear would end up being the woman who gave birth to me.
Just one day, out of the blue, my mother decided that it would be a great idea to go on a vacation outside of the country.
Technically it wasn’t ‘out of the blue’ for my mom, dad or the rest of the family.
My mother has been planning this for about a year and was waiting till the summer to carry out this plan.
She waited that long because she wanted to take me along with her.
Immediately, I refused. And like how any other young eight year olds act when they want or don’t want something, I threw a tantrum.
“I don’t wanna!” I exclaimed, stretching the word “wanna”, putting extra emphasis on the fact that I definitely did NOT want to go.
“Why not?” my mom said sadly. “It would be fun, really, it would be really fun.”
There’s something my mother doesn’t understand to this day. My mother believes that her way of fun is everyone’s way of fun; her enjoyment is everyone’s enjoyment.
More than anything though, I was an eight year old kid; born and raised in Kansas City for my whole life, I had no intention of traveling across the world just to have my mother’s way of ‘fun’ and leaving the only home I knew.
“Because I don’t WANNA!” I screamed, tears starting to stream down my face. “I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I DON’T WANNA!”
My mother walked over to me, placed her hands on my shoulder, and bent down so that her face was across from mine. She didn’t have to bend much, since she was a small woman. Already at the age of eight my height had almost exceeded that of my Mom’s.
“But I want you to,” my mother said quietly. Her tone was becoming much more serious now, “It’s going to be FUN.”
“NO! NO! NO!” I shouted, “I think it would be more fun if you be quiet and leave me alone!” As I said those words some force from inside me made me push my mom off of me.
My mother became shocked, and even I became shocked. I never knew I had it in me to be so rebellious.
My expression of shocked turned to wonder as I stared down at my powerful hands.
My mother’s expression, however, converted from shock to anger as she repositioned herself.
My mother has never been too angry with me before so when her face turned from Mother Theresa...
...to something you would see on Nightmare on Elm Street...
chills started to crawl from my neck down to my ankles.
Even my tears jumped off my face in fear that they would evaporate from her glare.
However being the oblivious kid that I was, I ignored all signs that said I would be walking into Hell’s fire and instead stood by my notion that I did NOT want to go.
“No,” I said slowly and clearly. From the way I said it, you could feel the large amount of sass coming from just one word. I never truly knew how to sass at my parents or other people. I was usually the kid who almost always listens to my parents but it had to be at that moment that my cousin’s influence seeped out.
As my Mom walked away towards the kitchen and away from my room, where the conversation took place, I couldn’t help but turn my head and let out a little smile.
My eight-year-old mind thought that I had won. I should have realized back then that easy battles aren’t won, but signifies the start of a war.
I didn’t have to turn my head back towards the door to know that someone was standing there.
Wham! Before I realized anything a sharp pain began to flow throughout my whole entire being; the force was so great that my soul left my body and began to ascend to heaven. At least that’s what I felt like anyway.
My parents are not violent people, however when they choose to be violent, they go all out.
As the pain throughout my body began to simmer down I was able to pinpoint the location of where the sharp pain originated, my glutes.
I turned around to see the Chainsaw Massacre standing at the doorway with a weapon much more terrifying than a chainsaw, a flyswatter. At that moment I felt sorry for all the bugs I have brutally chased and murdered with that weapon.
Parents have a knack for making a weapon out of anything, seeing my mother holding that bright yellow scythe, I began to fear for my life.
“Apologize right now,” demanded my mother.
I stood there motionless, looking up at my mom’s face. ‘Was this really my mother?’ was something I began asking myself over and over again. I didn’t even have the strength to cry.
“Fine, since that is how you want to be,” my mom said angrily, “Give me your hands.”
Before I even knew it she began slapping my hands with her own. It hurt. A LOT. But it must have hurt for her too. I didn’t even know if she was punishing me or herself
By the time she was done with this disciplinary act, I thought I was holding tomatoes. My hands were red, her hands were red, and my eyes have become swollen.
I thought that there would be no more of this war; I wanted it to end. However knowing my mother, it wasn’t going to end until she got her apology. I don’t know if it was me wanting to protect my pride, or me just being an absolute idiot, but at that time I wasn’t planning on giving her that apology.
“You’re gonna sit in time out young man,” said my mother as she was moving me into her room and pushing me into a corner, “And think about what you have done.”
Time out? I didn’t even know what that was. As my mother left me in the corner, I began to shuffle my feet and constantly look at the clock. Everytime I glared at the clock, the clock kept ticking by. No time had stopped what-so-ever. When my mom said “Time out” I thought she was going to freeze time and make me endure this punishment for an eternity.
“Turn around!” yelled my mother as I turned my face to see what she was doing. My mom has positioned herself on the bed at an angle to where she can clearly see me.
After what seemed like hours, I began to feel my legs go numb. I wanted to sit down badly but I knew that my mom would yell at me again if I changed position so I just stayed still. After a little while, I began to hear snoring. I turned around to see what that noise was and was shocked to see that my mother has fallen asleep. I wanted to scream or bite her because she was ASLEEP! I thought that I should’ve won because being asleep should have counted as an automatic disqualification, but I was still too afraid to move.
I thought that if I had moved some mystical force would awaken her and she would run across the room screaming like a monkey and then attacking me like a gorilla.
This whole scene was like World War One trench warfare. My corner was a trench, my mother’s bed was the enemy trench, and the stretch of carpet that kept my body and her body distant was No Man’s Land. Both of us had no plans on moving, both of us had no plans on giving up, both of us had no plans admitting defeat.
“Mom?” I whispered quietly, moving away from the corner.
I didn’t know what finally compelled me to move. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t withstand this stalemate anymore and needed a resolution , or maybe it was the fact that a giant cockroach was residing in the corner I was in and would have ended up eating my foot if I didn’t move.
I wasn’t scared of bugs but maybe due to the fatigue I was experiencing, the cockroach looked like it had the face of Barney. I HATED BARNEY.
As I reached my mother’s bed after crossing No Man’s Land, I began to sob a little. I don’t know if the sobbing was because I felt bad for my mom or because I was admitting defeat but i just allowed the tears to fall. After a while I shook her awake.
“Mom?” I said wearily.
My mother’s eyes were half open as she started to sit up on her bed. “What? Shouldn’t you be in time out right now?” asked my mom tiredly.
“I’m sorry mom for pushing you and I’ll go on the trip like you asked,” I said quietly. I slowly moved towards my mother and gave her a big hug.
“I didn’t punish you for not wanting to go on the trip. But thank you for apologizing for what you did wrong,” my mother said happily.
My mother and I hugged each other and the long war has finally come to an end.
At that moment my father walked in the door still dressed in his work clothes.
“Dad?” I asked confused looking up at the clock.
DAD! I just realized where he has been all this time. Work! I turned to my mom and began to feel upset again. Not at the fact that I hurt my own mom or the fact that I went through all that terror but the fact that I could have won the war if I waited just a little longer!
My dad would have came home from work and saved me!
In the end, a couple days after that incident, my mom and I went on the overseas trip that she wanted for so long. We flew all the way to Vietnam and stayed there for a couple months. It was actually a fun trip and I had a great time there.
The only complaint that I had, were the huge bugs. I swore I ran into the same cockroach here as I did at my house. This time I wasn’t hallucinating. The cockroach had grown two times in size and it’s face has become something worse than Barney, Elmo. I hated Elmo. Maybe I was hallucinating.
If only I knew back then the things I know now, it would have saved my life back then and many years later. Knowing how to read my mom’s signs now allowed me to dodge many bullets that would have got me in trouble or figuratively killed. But that experience allowed me to realize the fury of my mother. I would rather approach the gates of hell than her glare. I know now the important lesson that I should’ve learned before starting that conversation with my mom, mess with Dad, and suck up to Mom.