Monday, March 8, 2010

Get Ready to Rumble...

Tonight my oldest and youngest held another battle of wits that went something like:



Back and forth, back and forth, until I was screaming like a crazy lady, waving my arms around, screeching, "Just SHUT UP!"

If you asked them, I don't think they could even tell you what the argument was about.  The main goal, as it always is for them, is to be "right".

If I can catch their spats just as they begin, I can sometimes cut them off at the pass.  But, if I wait too long, like I did tonight, nothing short of catching them on fire and dangling them off the side of a building will interfere with their incessant need to make sure the other one is "wrong".

By the time I finally get them to pay attention to me, I have had to take away every privilege other than breathing.  After they've had the chance to calm down and re-group, they come to me abashed, apologizing and teary-eyed.

I wonder what life would be like if they put this much energy and emotion into something like, oh, keeping their rooms clean.  Or making straight A's on their report card(s).  Or becoming a pro in their chosen sport or hobby.  Part of me thinks about all the great things they could accomplish and achieve.  Part of me cringes at the idea of their driven, one-track, hyper-focused, Type A, perfectionist personalities pointing their laser beams at anything with that kind of intensity.

I can tell you something for sure, though:  whatever their chosen profession is when they become adults, I would want them on my team.  You would have no better lawyer arguing your case, no better doctor tracking down your symptoms and curing your illness, and no better spouse/parent working with you on a family.

My middle child?  She is the peace-keeper.  She is the one who will balance out the other two.  She is the one who calls them out when they are being petty, mean, selfish, prideful, or just plain stupid.

I love them all dearly.  And I wouldn't change them for the world.

It would just be awfully nice to have a "mute" button every once in a while...

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Love Being "Mom"

From the time I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mom.  I played with babies and barbies for hours on end.  I was always the grown up, and I always, always had babies.

That yearning never stopped.  As I became a young adult, I decided I wanted to be a Teacher.  That career choice, for various reasons, did not happen.  I ended up falling into Marketing and Sales, which I enjoy.  But, through it all, I wanted to be a mom.

Hubby and I were very blessed in that having children was never an issue for us.  And within a short time, our family of two grew to robust, happy family of five.

I have enjoyed my children beyond measure.  And I love sharing their stories, my joys and tears and our every day life with friends, family and here, on my blog/diary.  I try to infuse humor wherever I can.  Because I feel humor warms the soul.

I am always frank, candid and honest with my children.  I try to treat them as much like "adults" as is appropriate at the time.  I love to be silly and funny with them.  And they have grown up realizing that sarcasm can usually fight through even the most ugly of childhood meanness.

I have always felt like my job for this life is to prepare my children to be happy, well-rounded and productive members of society.  God has great plans for them.  And my job is to get them ready for them.

However strong and convicted I feel about everything I've written above, there are certainly moments of doubt.  Did I say the right thing?  Did I do the right thing?  Last night was one of those moments that gave me pause.

Emma and I were finishing up her homework together.  She yawned and stretched and murmured, "I have a headache," while rubbing her temples.

I looked at her through my own very sleepy eyes and confessed, "I do, too."

She looked up at me without missing a beat and said, "You always have a headache.  You have kids."

The humorist in me was is stitches.  I immediately tweeted and Facebooked her fantastically funny quip, and called my parents to share what an immensely funny grandchild they had.

Then... this morning I woke up, and her words were ringing in my ears.  But they were no longer funny. Instead, they were haunting me.

Is that what she thinks parenthood is about?  Having one long, continuous headache?  My heart ached and tears sprung to my eyes.  I wanted to run to her and say, "Oh no!  You have it so wrong!  Motherhood is a blessing, a joy, the very best thing that has ever happened to me in my life!  YOU are the reason God put me here!"

But I managed to reign in my inner drama queen and go about my day without accosting her with drippy, sappy words of love and devotion.  Instead, I will will try to infuse everything a little at a time, like I do the rest of my "teaching" and "love."

And I will try to show her that parenting is more than just headaches...  It's also backaches, sore muscles and all sorts of other problems....  Yeah, I just couldn't help it....