I am That Mom....
I am that mom who still gets hugs from her teenage boys; and knows when a hug isn't welcome and respects that without reading into it. (Like today, when dropping Jonathan off for his first day of football camp. All throughout the gymnasium moms were filling their sons' ears with last-minute instructions, trying to hug them, brushing their hair out of their eyes, while their sons brushed away their hands, rolled their eyes, and practically crawled out of their skin with each doting embrace. How can they find the inner strength to tackle a day of football camp among total strangers when mom's attention is all soft and schmoopy?)
I am that mom who doesn't flinch when her child tells her he wants to cut his hair into a mohawk, or learn to ride a motorcycle, or promote hemp oil as a cancer cure, or sleep behind the couch for three months straight. I am that mom who sees her kids' interests and desires, no matter how unusual or dangerous, as valid, worthy, and do-able.
I am that mom who says, "How can we make this happen?"
I am that mom who gets physically and emotionally ill when I witness (or even hear about) a parent shame, berate, or threaten her child. I am that mom who some days can't go out in public because I'm not strong enough to navigate such interactions. I am that mom who, on those days, feels overwhelmed with gratitude for my relationship with my children.
I am that mom whose child says, "some of my friends need an escape, which makes sense. But I love my life and I love the people in it, and I can't relate to the need for escape."
I am that mom whom other parents thought (and some, probably, still think) was the irresponsible one, the one who'd "pay for it later" when my kids ran wild, became disrespectful, or couldn't function in public due to my "hands-off style" of parenting. I am that mom who knew all along that wasn't true. I am that mom who watches those controlling, authoritative, drastic-measures, zero-tolerance, 'my way or the highway' parents struggle today. I am that mom from whom they now seek advice. Advice I begin with "It's never too late."
I am that mom who knows that because I listened before passing judgement, my kids talk to me. That because I don't over-react, my kids trust me. That because I have no hard and fast rules, my kids seek my advice and input.
I am that mom who believes in 'people over principles' and 'relationship first' and 'everything is negotiable.' EVERYTHING.
I am that mom who will end friendships if they are detrimental to our family's well-being. I am that mom who understands that her children choose their friendships for their own reasons. I am that mom who will tell you to back down if you are infringing on my child's sense of self. I am also that mom who will empathize with YOU when you struggle, when you hurt, and when you want to be better.
I am that mom who can go from setting a proper table to having a sock-throwing fight (ewwwww, nasty!); from scrubbing a floor on hands and knees to watching the "most amazing video game replay ever"; from talking to listening at the moment it's necessary.
I am that mom who believes nothing - NOTHING - is more important than this family. Who'd live in a cardboard box before she gave up a minute of these growing-up years.
I am THAT mom.
Any questions? :)