I could write a novel about my mom, but for the sake of brevity, I won't.

I spent the better part of my childhood feeling like I was the worst kid in the world. I was constantly "in trouble," usually for transgressions that were hardly punishable offenses. My mom screamed all the time, and I was spanked by her hand, wooden spoons, plastic clothes hangers, et cetera. I know others have had it worse, but it still fucked my self-confidence, which I struggle with to this day.

My mom has chilled quite a bit since then, largely because my dad is no longer having to pay child support or alimony to his ex-wife, the mother of my two brothers. Money was a constant source of anger and fear in our house, and my mom took her frustrations out on me. We've talked about it since, and she's apologized, but I still don't think she gets how badly it hurt.

She's now working at an elementary school as a classroom aide. She tells me all about how much the kids adore her, and the creative ways she corrects behaviors.

I am jealous of those second graders. They're getting the good side of my mom. The side I never got to see.

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This morning she posted on Facebook that the kids are going to be crazy today, hopped up on candy and misbehaving out of excitement for the classroom parties. TGIF!!

And I feel somewhat vindicated. Have fun, Mom. Have fun wrangling all those kids, trying to control the screaming, the jumping around, the little boy who takes his pants off, the little girl who bites, and doing it all without shrieking or hitting. Have fun with the kids who are FAR worse-behaved than your own kids ever were.

Happy Valentine's Day indeed.