Yolanda: I Was Doubting My Parenting Skills
Yolanda explains what went through her head during that phone call, as well as the aftermath.
Hello Bravo lovers,
I hope you are well and enjoying the season so far.
It was cool to see our friend Norm Pattiz on the show. He is considered the father of modern radio syndication, and it is great to see Brandi working with him on her successful podcast. Go Brandi!
Hard work does pay off. So proud to see Brandi supporting her family as a single mom and treating herself to a well-deserved present that makes her happy.
Little Giggy is my absolute favorite little star on the show! Seeing him go shopping in Beverly Hills with his parents is too cute. I never even knew there was a clothing store for doggies, but I guess why not?
I enjoyed seeing Vinny and Eileen doing their thing with their family on a typical beautiful Malibu day. Seeing them play with their kids makes me miss having the girls and their friends at home.
I am so proud of Lisa V. for getting her star on the walk of Palm Springs, acknowledging all her hard work and dedication to the LGBT community. She deserves it. I love to acknowledge and have the ability to celebrate the good times with friends, and that’s why I wish she had invited me to cheer her on and share such an important moment in her life.
I do hope Lisa V. is enjoying every moment of the success she worked so hard for, without letting the presence of the past get in the way. She should be so proud of her accomplishment, which reflects her own great work. On the other hand, telling Rinna that she doesn’t want to cloud her opinion of the other women in our group is great in theory. In actuality, she does need to stop talking about the past in order to achieve this. Let's all at last put the past in the past.
Kyle and Mauricio were so kind to invite me for the weekend on their family vacation. Since I was in Holland with my mom and was only an hour and a half flight away, I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some quality time and get to know Kyle and her beautiful family in a more substantial way. I have known Kyle for a few years but never really got to know her more intimately after our bumpy start. With that said, I always connected with Mauricio and really enjoyed getting to know their beautiful daughters, who were very kind and a pleasure to be with.
I also really enjoyed spending alone time with Kyle in Spain and actually seeing another side to her that is actually really nice. I loved her interest in European culture, and our more intimate talks that we never had before felt very genuine.
My greatest fear is to lose any of my children in a car accident the way I lost my father when I was only seven years old.
When my phone rang and I heard David’s voice, I knew in my gut something was really wrong. My adrenaline started rushing through my body, and the greatest panic attack of my life set in, like a train ran over my heart. “DUI……….”, “drinking and driving………….” OMG, what if she had hurt someone?! What if she had crashed and gotten killed?! My "what if" button went from zero to 10 in a split second, because my greatest fear is to lose any of my children in a car accident the way I lost my father when I was only seven years old.
All of a sudden this picturesque day on this gorgeous yacht just made me feel like a fish out of water. I have never experienced something like this, so I wasn't ready to share this news with Kyle and her family until I could understand what was happening and understand it in my own head. I had to get off of the boat and walk and pace until my nerves could calm down.
Even though David and Mohamed were in California with Bella holding down the fort, I was so scared of the danger Bella put herself and others in by making such a reckless choice. All I wanted was to get home. I cried so much that night. I felt so insecure, not only because Bella made such a huge, left-field mistake, but also because the fear of losing her had almost become a reality.
Bella has been an extraordinary child for 17 years--always edgy but living a very disciplined life as a equestrian competitor--so this reckless choice was so shocking and disappointing to me. I raised her as a single mom most of her life, so immediately I started to take it personally, blaming myself and doubting my parenting skills. Where did I screw up?! We covered the subject of the dangers of drinking and driving a thousand times! Her integrity and philosophy on life were always so right on and beyond her years that this crucial mistake was a shocking blow to digest for me as her mommy.
But then again, being a mother is discovering strengths you didn't know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed. I could not shake my emotions and cried the entire plane ride home from Spain to LA. Embarassing, to say the least, in front of the other passengers, but I was so overwhelmed with a sense of vulnerability that I had never felt before and couldn’t control. I got out my laptop and wrote Bella the longest letter I have ever written and shared with her all that I felt in my heart and needed her to know. I explained to her how much she meant to me and how fatal this mistake could have been. At the same time putting my thoughts in a row and digesting all that had happened in the past 24 hours made me realize that I had to accept the fact that she had made a human error and that it was up to me to show the lesson and the consequences that were going to come with this eye-opening experience in a way that she would never forget.
I decided to take her phone away, make her pay for her own lawyer bills from her savings, and we sold her car. The court suspended her license for one year, she received six months probation, and was required to conduct 25 hours of community service and 20 hours of AA meetings.
Bella has always been a very conscientious child, so dealing with a heart filled with regret plus the consequences and shame of her actions has been a tough burden for her to bear. Life taught her that sometimes good people make bad choices but that it doesn't mean they are bad people...it means they are human.
The reality is that it was a very painful experience and a lesson learned for our family. The truth is that none of us are perfect. I have and still make mistakes at age 50, so expectations of a life without mistakes from my children would be unrealistic and unfair.
Sharing this personal parenting story with you is a very sensitive subject, but I felt it was important for you to hear it from me.
Until next week,
Much love and a big hug,