I was Quinlan's age when the relationship with my dad started taking a turn for the worse. It was just after my 5th birthday when he held me in a choke hold up against a brick wall at a train station for talking too much.
Thus continued years of drinking and yelling. Hitting sometimes. Fearing always. And enough to make me quite certain that I did not want to have kids.
I did not want to risk carrying on that legacy.
So when I got pregnant with Quinlan, I vowed it would never be like it was for me.
It could never be like it was for me.
There are days when I yell. I've had a few mother beast moments that I still find it hard to forget.
And lately, with what's been a combination of weird hormones, a month long withdrawl from sugar and booze, and my husband's travel schedule, I've been scraping by, shoveling dried fruit and black tea down my gullet and trying not to scare my kids with a mix of irritable snaps and crying spells.
Hell, I was even crying on the treadmill after catching the tail end of "The Express," in particular when he wins the Heisman Trophy.
There is something so powerful about the idea of beating the odds and winning. The standing ovation, that public experience of victory, is something that few of us, and certainly not me, experience.
I admit that I was envious of that feeling, now realizing that I'll probably never be winning that Academy Award I used to dream about as a kid.
But then I realized that we all have those moments in our lives. Granted they don't involve amazing performances on a football field or in a blockbuster movie, but we all have victories to celebrate.
And so when he accepted his trophy, I accepted mine.
A victory in breaking the cycle. And starting a new legacy for my kids.
I may not be perfect. But I'm aware. And that's more than half the battle.