Worst Mom Ever

A friend lamented the other day what an awful mom she was because after working two jobs, her volunteer duties and taking care of her two at home kids and dog she had taken her son to his Sunday track meet to discover one problem. The meet was Saturday. She just felt awful sure that she was a “bad Mom.” Her comrades in arms/Spanx all assured her she was not a bad mom and that “we’ve all been there.” But what is it that makes Moms so hard on ourselves?
Mixups and forgotten bake-sale cupcakes have happened to most of us and we all have felt the pain of self-censure. Nobody’s perfect. And nobody expects you to be perfect; except you.
Some time ago a Dad-type person I know took his daughters to Six Flags for some summer fun.
After the usual morning-time chaos and the hour drive to the park they arrived. Only for Dad to notice that his youngest, 6 or 7 at the time had forgotten her shoes. Without to much wringing of hands he drove to a nearby discount store and bought her some sneakers. Problem solved.
I don’t remember him telling me his daughter’s lack of shoes reflected on him as a parent. And it didn’t. (He did laugh when he told the story and call his little darling “goofy.) He did not think she would be forever scarred or damaged. He was right. And , she grew up quite beautifully. Now she peaks into patient’s brains as part of Hospital’s Neuro-surgical team. Not so “goofy” after all.
I think my girlfriend is a victim of what I call the syndrome of “Too many shoes.” It goes like this. You’re doing what you need to do working, managing the household, baking the cupcakes. When someone comes crazy-eyed into the room asking “Do you know where my shoes are?” They maybe 6, 16, or 26 years old and they have no idea where their soccer/sandals/ dressy black shoes are. You are equal parts frustrated with their inability to put things where they belong and frightened to realize you  do know where their shoes are.
You know where everyone’s shoes are.
Your head is full of footwear location information. And you are worried. Worried that they will never be able to manage their own lives if they cannot even find their footwear. Is it any wonder that sometimes a detail is overlooked or an afternoon double-booked when your head is full of all those shoes. Yes my friend has too many shoes.
I also think Moms are hardest on ourselves because we really know how much we loved our own Moms.  We try so hard to be that kind of Mom to our kids. And hind sight being 20-20, we now appreciate the little ways we were loved and nurtured by our own mom. Ways we never noticed while they was happening.
A year or two after my mom had died I was in a department store buying underwear. Nothing exciting just underwear. There was probably a sale. While waiting in line with the other women, all different ages, someone remarked that they liked it better when new underwear just appeared on your bed after school. Provided by Mom. We all agreed. This simple purchase for many of us, symbolized the intimate relationship of Mom caring for us like no onle else. Those day -of-the week underpants meant more than their cost in dollar and cents ever could.
So on this Mother’s Day I want to tell my friend she is a good mom too. She wanted to be at the track meet, she forgot the day. She does so many other small and big things for her kids that on this one occasion she confused the days. But she hasn’t once confused her children. They know shes loves them. They will know years from now that she always was thinking of them. She always knew where their shoes were. Because she always knew where her heart was. I’m just say’n.

Transition and Tafeta

This is shaping up to be one interesting week in our home. On Sunday a friend and I took my daughter on the mystical, magical hunt for a prom dress. This rite of passage came with it’s own feeling of one part nostalgia and two parts of disbelief. On Monday our 22 year old son accepted a job in Chicago. It’s his first post-college job not meant to be a “summer” marking -time job.

When I look back at the events in a family’s life that seperate the stages of life I am interested to see how we are all connected by these transistions and how alike my experience is to that of my co-workers and friends who have traveled this same road.

The friend who told me over and over “they’re only little for such a little time. ” When I was exhausted by lack of sleep and my days were ruled by nap-time and wipe-downs it seemed that they would be needy little sponges forever. But now it seems, as if those days just flew by. And oh that reminds me, “the day’s go slow the years fly by” was another pearl from another Mom I know. The truth is if we are on any level awake as parents we are continually having the kind of moments where we are surprised by the passage of time and our own transformation into “grownups.”

Because in my mind (and by that I mean your mind too) it was only yesterday when I was picking out a prom dress or starting a job I would keep past Labor Day. But somehow here we all are. And if your’e not on your way to the promwear department this week don’t worry you will be soon. I’m just say’n.

Innaugural

With time on my hands and spring doing it’s re-birth, re-fresh number in my mind as well as the landscape, I’ve begun this blog. I wanted to have a place to jot down thoughts and ideas for a long time now that I could share with friends and family. Much of what I want to write about will be pretty basic stuff. I’ll be pretty informal. Community, friends, kids and of course ( if you know me you know I’ll work in) dogs will often be the topics of my musings.
The things that I’ll write about will interest you I hope. Since you may be a part of my experiences you may even appear in this blog. But I promise to be discreet. (And to try to work the kinks out of this whole blogging/technology thing.)
It’s been over a year since I’ve lost my forum for sharing insights ,thoughts, and laughs with many people every week. I’ have missed that. This blog is my attempt to re-connect and share that experience again. No big political discourses, no toplofty pronouncements, just the musings I have as I walk the streets of the ‘Bay. You may be thinking about some of the same things, or I may trigger a similar chain of thought in you. I hope at least to share a grin or two as we meet in this medium. Bear with me as I ramble/blog.
I am “just say’n.”