Part of the adventure of parenting is that, just about the time you are convinced that you are the worst parent in the world and that you have done every possible thing wrong and ruined them for life, they do something to show you that you haven't done half bad.
Due to a series of glitches (3 flat rear tires in rapid succession, etc.) we have been busing more than biking the past few weeks; we finally got the bike up and running again and discovered that I have gone soft in the mean time. I was sure the hills were going to kill me (literally). But there in the stoker seat was my boy, peddling like hell and cheering me on all at once. I would have pulled over and walked for at least half of those hills, but for that angel on the rear seat, screaming "come one missy, cars are for wimps!" "how we gonna bike to Mount Hood for that camping trip if you give up now? We gotta get some legs on you, woman!!" (I had not realized that we were planning to bike there, I thought we taking a Flex Car, but . . . ok). We made it over every hill and dale, and had some great laughs doing it.
Of course, this isn't out of character for him, he is a GREAT kid, and I would have been pleased and proud under any circumstances --who wouldn't want their own cheering section on steep hills. But heres the thing, I am embarrassed to admit that I had,up until this weekend, fallen into the trap of competing with that @#%*& Intern.
Epiphany Number One: I am not a sweet, perky drop-dead gorgeous, painfully skinny teenager, I do not have my finger on the pulse of the latest trendy trends or nifty games, and I am not on top of the latest in youth culture. Try as I might, I can not compete on those terms. And because she is perky and fun and does have her finger on the pulse of all that is hip and cool in youth culture, dates his father, and gives him expensive consumer products that I would never get him in a million years, he worships her. He wants to spend all his time hanging with her and his dad, during this all too brief summer vacation when I don't have classes and want to be doing fun things with my son before he is all grown up and dating teenage girls himself. Even when he is here in the house, he is not really here, he is lost in that damn game that damn wench gave him. grrr.
So, because I am human, and because I want to have a close, wonderful relationship with my kid while he is still a kid, (and despite the fact that I am a Child & Family Studies Major and know better) I had been trying to compete. Bad plan, utterly doomed to failure. It all ended in an ugly meltdown last night. yeah. This is why mommies should be mommies, why people should be their authentic, phenomenal selves and not try to be teenie-boppers. That is Epiphany Number 2. He and I had the best day today, we have a lot of great times together, being exactly who we are.
Epiphany Number 3 is that these wonderful children with whom we share our lives, will have relationships with other people. Their own relationships on their own terms. They do not do this to hurt us, or because we have ghastly, unforgivable failings. Their friends will have charms of their own, just as we do, and so long as these friends are not Charles Manson or Jeffery Dommer or Catherine Tramell, it might be best to let them, or at least not try to fill their all too fashionable shoes. We are who we are meant to be,the only question is “what are you going to do with your one wild life” you irreplaceable you?
As I write this, The Boy comes over throws his arms wide and says, in one of his wonderful, comic voices, "hug me!!" Ballancing my lap top on my lap, I open one arm, to which he scowls "Move the computer, I want to REALLY hug you!" As he nestles into my arms he coos "I love you sooo much" There are times when I think that everything I know about love I learned from my son.
Now, I am going to return to our evening of wrestling, whiptopping covered confections, and watching anime. Cuz, in addition to my many other charms, I actually am a pretty hip mama --and I know how to have fun that teeny-boppers cant even imagine.