Friday, January 29, 2016

Never Gonna

Me & my mom, back in the day.
Dear Moms everywhere,

I don't care how old you are. I am willing to bet that at one point in your life, possibly when you were a teenager, you uttered the angst-filled cry of the repressed:
I swear, I'm never going to be like my mother.
But here's the thing. It doesn't matter if you make that declaration. It doesn't matter if you actively parent in the complete opposite way that your mother raised you. Eventually, some day, you turn into your mother. And it's all your kids' fault.

When your kids are in grade school, you might be the kind of mom whose kids ask her to come on the field trips because they love to hang out with you. You might be the mom of the kids who want you to come to the school and eat lunch with them—not even asking you to bring fast food, but to just chill with a cafeteria tray. Maybe even in third or fourth grade, you might be the kind of mom that causes other kids to tell your kids "dude, your mom is so cool!"

This passes.

Because, eventually, your kids get older and then they know everything. Yeah, I wish I knew as much as I did back when I was a teenager. And this is a normal part of life, so you're going to be okay with it. You might tell your kids to rein that in at certain times, and that's okay too. Your heart will break wide open at times, because you want for them, you hurt for them or you are so happy you want to grab them and toss them up in the air like you did when they were toddlers. Yes, you're still the parent. Sometimes now, just the parent.

And you hold on. Because in between all those days when they're angry, hormonal and impossible, there are days when they want to flop down on the couch next to you, as close as they can get, and tuck their head onto your shoulder. Or when they look down from the stage and you see relief—was that almost a smile!?—wash over their face before they proceed to ignore you again.

She forgives me.
I remember it from the other side. And I remember that it was just as hard for me when I was going through it. Pushing hard, trying to break somebody because you feel broken. Your pieces are still floating and have yet to connect into a whole. And it sucks. But they'll get through it like I did.

Because this is part of it. And it's harder than potty training or teething. But this too, shall pass. And someday they'll grow up just like I did, calling my mom to apologize for being such an ass when I was younger.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking as a former teenager who knew everything, I love this. And at least you can look forward to that stage when they are adults and you can go out for a drink with your kids.