Becoming friends with my mother

Roberta is the first to admit that she wasn’t the easiest kid to raise. She and her parents butt heads practically daily, but even through the friction, Roberta said they still managed to get their message across.

“The best advice they gave me growing up was never be a liar, a cheat, or a thief, because then you have nothing to fall back on,” she said. “I try to live my life according to that. I try to be as honest as possible, I try not to cheat people, and I’ve never stolen anything – except once.”

To this day, Roberta remembers the scenario surrounding her petty crime. After a birthday party, she went into Ferrell’s ice cream shop with a friend’s mom and stole some chewing gum. In all her 4-year-old wisdom, she pulled it out as soon as she got in the car and was caught red-handed.

“I still remember that feeling of, I just got caught, and I haven’t stolen anything since,” she said. “Being horribly embarrassed in front of my friend at the age of four or five made me realize that stealing wasn’t the way to go.”

The adult perspective that makes her hold tight to that life lesson also revolutionized the relationship she has with her mom. Throughout her teens, she really put her mom through the parenting trap. Her mom stayed at home to take care of the kids, and while Roberta resented it while she lived there, now she says, “I didn’t appreciate it nearly enough at the time, but now it is an inspiration to me. I hope one day that I can be at home with my kids.”

Roberta said she realized that her mom had been right all along the day she moved out.

“Our relationship turned completely around,” she said. “I realized my mom is cool. I am glad that I am not 14 anymore because I did not like her then, but now she is one of my best friends. She did a good job raising me, and I love her very much.”

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