Enjoy this blog from my pal Hanna… wife to Techie, Mom to Rockstar (10), Sophie the Beagle (4), Anakin (2) and expected arrival in of Potus in September.Hanna also writes a blog for the Frederick News Post called While I Should Be Cleaning.
Sometimes it’s only a few minutes.
Other times it last hours. On occasion it lasts days, though I’ve been known to hold out for at least a few weeks.
I hate being an adult.
Even worse, I hate being a parent.
Of course, this is all temporary. Well, historically it’s been temporary and I don’t expect the trend to change.
When I was younger I coveted the adulthood status. I have significantly older siblings that always seemed to live the high life. While I stayed at home watching the virtual world of concerts on Headbanger’s Ball they were out actually at the concerts, seeing the bands and being cool.
I remember on my 17th birthday I was so incredibly excited to be able to have a song that seemed so suited to me – Seventeen by Winger. I knew that I was near a coveted age; I was on the precipice of cool.
So what happened?
By instantly assuming the role of motherhood (simply through the act of giving birth, though there was nothing simple about it) and making unpopular decisions (“No, you can’t mix Mt. Dew and Pixie Sticks together,”) I completely smacked right into abyss of the matriarch of my family.
The best quote I heard early on was from my former Mother in Law, “I have enough friends; I don’t need to be your friend. I’m your Mother.” And oh how true it is. You don’t want to be that Mom who dresses like her teenage daughter, belly shirts and all (and I know you’ve seen them). That’s just trying too hard and, contrary to their sincerest belief, failing miserably. You also don’t want to be likened to tree hugging, non deodorant-using free love commune Mom. You don’t want to be a push over but you don’t want to be ruler rigid that your kid, albeit insanely intelligent, is the class’ most tormented child.
So whaddya do?
Most recently I was faced with a test, a test of my cool motherhood-ness.
I’ve got me one of those new fangled modern Blended Families. As it so happens, I’ve been a member of a blended family my whole life, as has my husband. Back then it was called children of divorced families. Rather than being on a national scale (think melting pot theory) we’re more down home and localized. Simply put: I’ve been married. Twice. I have a son, Rockstar, from my previous relationship. I’m currently happily married to Techie, my second husband, for 4 years. We have a son together, Anakin. I’m pregnant again and we’re expecting our third son (because in all essence Rockstar is Techie’s son, too), Potus, at the end of September. That’s the essence of blended families, the blending of two families. But see, it doesn’t end there: in my world, because I’m cool like that (at least to my peers, not my kids), I’m still close with everyone. So in addition to my parents (both are divorced and re-married), I have my former in-laws, my current in-laws, my ex-husband’s new in-laws (he’s now re-married, too)….well, it’s a big family. I tell you all of this because my parental coolness aptitude involves this background information.
Summer is a time for fun, right? I think so. When I think of summer I think of fun, sun and the beach.
This year, though, I can only manage fun and sun. The beach is out. And probably the fun, though it’s not for lack of trying. Why, do you ask? Because Techie’s family reunion is this year. And it’s in Missouri. In case your geography fails you, that’s a state that is void of all beach-front property. Maybe they have a lake or two; I’m not sure. But it sure doesn’t involve an oceanic body of water, which is what qualifies a beach – at least for me.
So I’m hyping up our trip to the mid-west to my 10 year old Rockstar, playing up the Native American sights, the arch in St. Louis, a potential trip through Nashville – and completely ignoring the fact that he’ll be holed up in our Party Van with his toddler brother and a very pregnant Mom for hours on end.
As it turns out, my absolute lack of interest in looking at a calendar for months on end kept me distracted from the complete and utter obvious disaster that loomed before me, brought to my attention through the ding of my iPod Touch reminder: Our family reunion trip the abyss of middle America coincided with Rockstar’s annual trip with his Grandparents (former in-laws) to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Alex Tribek’s voice sluiced over my internal thoughts and posed my dilemma: Do I drag my kid away from the beach, force him into a 14-hour car ride across America to sit on a 20-acre farm with people 8 times his age, almost all of whom he’s never met or do I let him go to the Outer Banks as usual and kick off his summer with fun, sun and surf?
It was one of those times that I hated being a parent: I could make his life miserable or I could make him happy. I could be cruel or I could be cool. I had to be an adult, too, because inside I was screaming that I was going to be stuck in the Party Van for 14 hours going across the country (6+ months pregnant, mind you) RATHER than sitting on the sandy beaches of North Carolina, seafood, sun and fun at my fingertips (well, properly manicured but sand crusted toes).
Again, I ask myself, so whaddya do?
I ended up taking the high road, the mature road. The adult road. It wasn’t easy because I desperately want to go to the beach this year, buddah belly and all, but it’s just not in the cards. I thought back to when I was 10 and what I wanted and my thought process at the time (because maturity and parenting gives you that ability to have 20-20 hindsight).
So I let Rockstar go to the beach. I hyped up the beach and all the fun he’ll have and how much Missouri is going to be a bummer compared to the beach and so on and so forth. He’s an intuitive kid, though, and knows that I’m completely bummed about my decision. He knows about envy, though I try not to show it. Hopefully he also knows how much I’ll miss him but hopes he has a good time. I think the latter, though is what has prompted him to call me every day he’s been away, something that is completely out of character for him.
I guess I passed the test.