I’ve never been very, um, “mommy”. I mean, I was a good mom when the kids were little but I didn’t lose myself in being mommy. Maybe it was selfishness, maybe immaturity, maybe it was a deep desire never to wear high waisted jeans or drive a mini-van. I stuck to my bimbo code and the kids dealt with it.
I’ve mellowed, become more tolerant and find that I’ve had so much fun with my kids as they’ve gotten older and now there are lots of kids that I truly love. There are so many friends of my kids who have become like my own. I wash their clothes, feed them, yell at them, play sardines with them, chauffeur them around on the boat and listen to their secrets, hopes and dreams.
In return, the kids that I love have drawn giant genitalia in my front yard. They have written dirty words on my car and let me drive around with truck drivers honking and nodding at me. They have changed my status to “I’m gay” at least 400 times. They changed my Apple password to “Penis” and I now cannot figure out how to change it back. Every time I walk into see a Genius, I have to mumble this to them while their whole demeanor changes and they sneak sideways glances at me. They have set their carpet on fire, set the car seat on fire, set themselves on fire. They have thrown up vodka and blue juice onto the carpet in my basement. They’ve turned over the ATVs, grounded jet skis, and one has had crying fits worthy of an oscar, but I’m not saying which. They constantly add mess and confusion to my household, glasses stuck to nightstands, plates with pizza stuck to them, clothes everywhere, friends everywhere. I am single handedly pulling my son through high school using threats, manipulation and little treats, just like I trained my Jack Russell.
In the shadow of all the tragedy surrounding us lately, both in our community and in the country, I’ve been looking at things differently I think of all the moms that won’t have kids come home to annoy them. Their kids won’t make messes, won’t make mistakes, won’t embarrass them. They won’t be there to spontaneously grab their moms, pick them up and squeeze them until they scream. They won’t share sweaters, won’t borrow their cars, won’t remind them of the stupid things they’ve done, repeatedly. Their kids won’t ever become smarter than their parents and be there to hook up technical devices. They won’t still snuggle and watch a movie, even though they’re almost grown. The enormity of that makes me want to fall to my knees and be thankful that I have one more day with my babies.
This makes me forgive all the craziness and realize that this is what makes life fun, watching them make mistakes and learn from them. Watching them struggle through senseless biology and math. Seeing their hearts get broken and then seeing them rise above it. It makes me want to hug them until they say “Mom, this is awkward”. I’m seriously thinking of asking if they want to climb in and sleep with me and their dad tonight, but anticipate rejection and looks of concern.
My son, The Boy, recently said “Mom, we’ll both be gone in two years. What will you do? You’ll have no life. Who will play with you?”. It caused me to feel sad and go straight to bed because they’re right. I think I’m one of them. Who is going to play with me? The thing I hold onto is that, unlike those poor moms for whom I can’t stop crying and praying, I’ll still be able to call my kids once, twice, maybe 26 times a day. I can sleep over at their dorms and apartments. Oh, and I will.
Also, the Goose is going to have to step up and get me a puppy.