I ain’t my Momma

Upon turning 22, my friend declared that “22 is halfway to 44 which is halfway to 88 which means you are halfway dead.”

(We are clearly no longer friends.)

Birthdays are kind of like New Year’s—they make you reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’re another year older. And another year closer to 88.

On the day of my 28th birthday, I couldn’t help but compare myself to those I love and admire more than anyone else in the world: my parents. I think about where they were at 28. And at this age my mother was married for 6 years with a two-year-old and another on the way.

If my life was supposed to follow those breadcrumbs, the birds clearly had a 28-year feast and unknowingly I stumbled upon the long, scenic route up the side of a steep mountain.

While I would be blessed if I had even 1/100 of the character my mother has, my life has not followed her blueprint.

I ain’t my Momma.

Chatting with another single friend the other day, I decided expectations for young adults are like kitchen cleaners under the sink to little kids. It’s just not fair that the blue stuff that looks like a huge jug of blue raspberry Kool-Aid is locked away behind childproof cabinets—seemingly unattainable. But here’s the thing: turns out that stuff may not be the best for us anyway.

My life and the lives of my single friends are not the lives of our parents. But our lives aren’t wrong. They’re different.

I’m single. I’m living on my own. I’m pursuing my passion for writing. I’m really great at making cereal for dinner.

I can’t help but compare myself to those I love most—and I pray that I have even a fraction of the love, faith, and character that my parents do. But I know You have different plans for me than you had for my father and mother.

I ain’t my Momma.

I’m me.

Your child,



 Expectations of a Christian mid-to-late 20s-30s something girl:

SCENE:  Underneath a cloudless blue sky sits a cozy starter home with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms on a corner lot of exactly .45 acres. Meticulously clean windows are trimmed with black shutters. The white siding falls nothing short of a dazzle promised by Crest Whitening strips within 2 hours. The shrubbery is green and never in need of a haircut and not a weed (GASP, dare I say the actual word!?) is to be found. A red front door beckons you inside, where we find said mid-to-late 20s-30s something Christian girl. We will call her Chloe.

ENTER: MUFFIN, CHLOE’s hypoallergenic cross breed. Poised, full of (tasteful) spunk, and totally potty trained after watching that Youtube video only twice. She is flaunting a sequined periwinkle canine sweater.




“Did Muffin take care of her business and flush the toilet after herself?”


“Woof woof!”


“Good girl!”

ENTER: ALYSSA and AIDEN, CHLOE’s three year old twins. Poised, full of (tasteful) spunk, and totally potty trained after watching that Youtube video only twice. They are flaunting matching his and hers periwinkle “play” outfits.


“What have you both learned from Baby Einstein today?”


“Look Mother! I wrote you a symphony.”

ALYSSA hands her mother a 30 page symphony, spiral bound.


“Look Mother! I painted us a family portrait.”

AIDEN reveals a 20×30 canvas oil painting of photo-like resemblance of the four-some.


ENTER: Tall, dark, handsome husband (TDH). I don’t even think we need to give him a name.




“Oh, Father! You’ve returned as you always do at 5:15 PM every evening Monday- Friday!”


“Wow, honey. Baby Einstein really has helped his articulation skills! That 25 disc collection sure was an investment we will never regret! Our precocious children are the talk of every parent who drops his child off in the church nursery every Sunday!”

CHLOE flips her perfectly quaffed blonde hair back over her shoulder as she kisses her husband.



TDH slides a package of bacon on the table. This is to be both literal and metaphorical (and every kind of cheese in the dairy aisle).

CHLOE swings her arms around her husband’s muscular frame thanks to his $60 a month gym membership.


“Have I told you how much I love you?”


“Every half hour by text, telephone, or e-mail.”


“I’m so happy we met our freshman year at [Insert name of Christian College here] and that it was love at first sight and you showered me in flowers, jewelry, and Chickfila nuggets. And then you proposed on the beach by candlelight at sunset before the spring of our senior year. I’m also glad we didn’t wait long for our engagement (you know how temptation is!) and were married the day after our graduation. I barely passed my finals, but it was so worth it!”


“Aren’t you forgetting something?”


“Why, how could I forget! And you paid off all of my school loans as our wedding present!”

ALYSSA and AIDEN join in the familial hug, clasping on to a parental limb. MUFFIN barks once, politely, with a stick in her mouth ready for her allotted outdoor time.

A pleasant, upbeat tune signals the closing fade-out.



Reality of a Christian mid-to-late 20s-30s something girl:

SCENE:  Underneath a cloudy, rainy sky sits the cheapest apartment known in the [insert name of high cost of living suburb of your choice] area. IKEA furniture fills the glorified studio to give a “cute” feel as her friends like to call it who make bank. Bundled underneath a heavy quilt because her 36% below the national average salary limits her heat usage to never, sits said mid-to-late 20s something Christian girl. We will call her M. The only light in the room is the glow from the television.


“DARN YOU CAGGIE! You are obviously into Spencer. Why don’t you just kiss him already?”

M throws her $4 Ikea pillow at the reality-but-obviously-scripted British show that has captivated her since she rolled out of bed at 11:00 AM on a Saturday. The show attempts to satisfy both her latent pining for love and not so latent pining for babies with British accents.

FOUR HOURS LATER. We find M in the same spot as four hours ago (no thanks to the marathon of reality-but-obviously-scripted British show), empty candy wrappers at her feet.



Commercial break. M checks her bank account, praying that God maybe magically deposited thousands of dollars in there so she can pay off her school loans and buy some groceries every once in a while. There are only so many flavors of Ramen noodles.


M grabs her dumb phone because smart phones seem like a commodity greater than gold.



It is M’s best friend calling to say she got engaged. M is full of merriment, glee, and [fill in other exuberant phrases here]. She then realizes she has no money to buy a bridesmaid dress.

Five minutes later.


It is M’s other best friend calling to say she got engaged. M is full of merriment, glee, and [fill in other exuberant phrases here]. She then realizes she has no money to buy another bridesmaid dress.

M happens to go onto Facebook and is informed that 17 of her other 406 Facebook friends are engaged. Six other married friends just had their first child. Three are working on their second (bow chicka wow wow).

An Inbox refresher reveals an e-mail that soon it will be her 5 year college reunion. Suddenly, she feels ill.



M opens up a new Google search. She types in “How much does it cost to own a kitten?”

M remembers she does not like kittens. Backspace, backspace, backspace.

M opens up the Amazon webpage. She types in “Kitten stuffed animals” and finds 14 new from $3.56 and 6 used from $1.59.

M orders 5 new from $3.56 at a supplier that is 98% positive over the past 12 months.

A sad, bleak tune not unlike a dirge signals the close out.