I have to admit, I've been a little less patient than normal lately. Probably has something to do with being a woman and that whole once-a-month-I'm-a-raging-you-know-what...but also because I'm just stretched a little too thin.
You know how that feels. You're a little short with others, especially The Others who happen to live with you. Sometimes I feel like I am running a indoor zoo, trying to herd baby chimps into some sort of organized line. It can also feel a bit like Groundhog Day, hated the movie but love being able to refer to my off days as "UGH! I feel like I'm LIVING Groundhog Day!".
It can be easy to feel that way....I'm a mom. I do pretty much the same thing every day, given the minute to minute changes in moods, drama of the second, and sport of the day...my days can seem interchangeable. It's in those moments though that things happen we all forget about. I wish I was one of those mothers that actually remembered to take my camera everywhere and snapped beautiful photos of my kids in that fuzzy, sentimental-I'm a photographer AND a mom way. Just snapping pictures of the normalcy of our day. But I don't, even though I have a ridiculous amount of pictures.
Today, was another normal day. B is on nights, which automatically turns the kid's "Let's Fight" buttons on and also magnifies their voices. Weird, I know. I wanted to get them out of the house today basically to make the day easier on me, to avoid being the Queen of Shh! We loaded up and went to the movies! On the way there, T, who will be 13 in March sat up front as usual while R jammed out to her iPod and G watched Frosty the Snowman for the millionth time. The best conversations happen in the front seat of the car. Especially with boys. I've noticed this with T....and with his friends who have pushed T to the backseat to get shotgun. I have a feeling that it is because I can't really make eye contact when they're chatting with me and I'm driving.
T's conversation of choice during our 25 minute drive (we live in Texas, to get anywhere it's about a half hour), was drinking. Yep, alcohol. He was talking about people drinking who are underage and then I could feel his eyes burning holes in the side of my head....." Mom, did you ever do that?" I tried to buy some time, I messed with the radio a little, cleared my throat, but I knew that I couldn't avoid it. Many possible answers ran through my head. Should I answer honestly or flat out lie? Well, I went with the truth. I told him yes and explained how stupid it was...he agreed. He questioned me because he rarely sees me pick up a drink now, other than a margarita once in a blue moon. He also knows I can't stand the taste of beer. I guess in his pre teen brain, he though that was the only alcohol at parties that I went to...which was cute. I didn't go into too many details....don't want to create a rerun of my life here. Hard liquor wasn't mentioned...but wine coolers were. I told him how they are sickly sweet and make you feel like crap. Literally. Every time I had Fuzzy Navel wine coolers, I spent more time with the toilet than I did the rest of the party. He laughed at me, enjoying the fact that I was so stupid. He told me how he hopes he never acts like that when he's a teenager. I told him not to worry, that things are different for him than they were for me. That it's all about choices. You make bad choices, you deal with the consequences of your actions. Good or bad. I also reminded him that I wasn't in a church family when I was his age, having left the church I grew up in behind when my parents divorced when I was 14. He is in a church family and is involved with the youth there, as are we as a family. He asked about drinking and driving. Once again, I had to 'fess up and told him that, yes, unfortunately I did drink and drive as a teen and I was lucky to be alive because so many things could have happened to me or to others. I reminded him of living the life God wants you to live.
Our conversation ended as we pulled into the mall parking lot. We saw Alvin and the Chipmunks-Chipwrecked (it was okay...) and then made our way to Target where I could get my whole herding the chimps fix. One million dollars and 5 gray hairs later, we were back in the car for the 25 minute ride home. We were listening to music and enjoying the popcorn fullness of our bellies, about 15 minutes from home, when T turned in his seat and looked at me and I thought, Oh, crap...please Lord, don't be another question I really don't want to answer right now. But he said, "Mom...will I be like you when I'm older?" And I honestly thought he meant...Am I going to be as much of as a screw up as you were as a teenager.... so I told him again about choices and wise decision making. How when you know better, you do better (totally stole that from Oprah, y'all) but he just looked at me kind of funny. So I asked him what he meant....like me in what way? He looked right at me and said, "Like you....like a good parent."
I could have cried right there.
I love being a parent. Even if I am half crazy on a good day and getting gray hair and crow's feet at 31.
Now, I will get back to getting my hair "styled" by my 5 year old...who thinks doing my hair means combing my hair down and then twirling the comb around in circles. I guess he's into 80's 'do's.
Happy weekend, people. Enjoy your normalcy and chaos. I will.