I am parenting three pretty great people at the moment. My boys are ages 12 and 10, and their little sister is 6 years old. I think I’m in a phase where I might be so physically exhausted most days from running around, however, that I’m not exactly giving them my A game. So I decided to write them a letter to explain my current inadequacies and beg for their forgiveness while promising better days to come.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All, Mr. Mind Wanderer, and Miss Thang,
Do you remember what it was like when you were young and naive and didn’t put 2-and-2 together that not EVERY mom was as clueless as yours is in the kitchen? The days when frozen snacks like chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and toaster strudels didn’t seem like a total cop out?
I made a fatal mistake in letting you sleep over at your friends’ houses. I recognize that now. Hindsight is always 20/20. I see that look in your eyes when you return home and try to mask your disappointment, fully cognizant of the fact you will not experience that level of culinary fulfillment until the next invitation is extended.
Cooking frustrates me. Why spend more than one hour on something that A. no one will like, or B. people will like so much that it disappears in 8 minutes flat? It’s like the precious artwork you bring home that you later find in the recycling bin. You pickin up what I’m putting down?
I also feel the need to address your nonstop extracurricular activities. I see the moms of your teammates stand outside in the bitter cold, as daylight is smothered by dusk, watching every practice drill. Me? I often find myself getting lost in cyberspace, taking multiple hits of Vine videos from the comfort of my van. Just like an addict, I sulk a little lower with every passing onlooker. DON’T JUDGE ME.
Plus I work a full-time job in insurance. I can’t even begin to explain to you what that means other than by saying it’s like standing in line waiting for the chance to eat your favorite cafeteria food (pizza, french toast sticks, nachos, you get the picture) but the line is 8 hours long. When I get home at the end of my shift, the couch is my favorite cafeteria food. And I am ready to consume it.
I figure I’ve got six to eight years ahead of me before you’re in college and I become the mom of all moms.
My care packages are going to blow your mind. I will have worn dad down by then about all financial matters. After all, he will have put up with me for nearly A QUARTER CENTURY by the time you’re in college.
Since I will no longer have to drive you to anything and can just show up before tip-off, the first pitch, whatever (assuming you’re still playing), I’m going to be that chill mom you always wished for. Balancing a drink in one hand and a hot dog in the other, you won’t even know I’m there.
I’m going to remember what it’s like to hang out with your dad again. You’re going to turn around one day to introduce us to your advisor, and we’ll be pinching each other in awkward places that will make you cringe.
Just you wait. Bonfires will still involve s’mores, but there will be stories that you’ve never heard us tell you before. I will tell you about dad giving me my first wine cooler in his parent’s basement. He will tell you about the book he always wanted to write detailing all of the dumb things I’ve said in total seriousness.
My tears of laughter will morph into tears of sorrow knowing that you are running a pace that I can’t keep up with, yet I am so proud of you for maintaining.
You may strip me of all my energy now, but there is no other way I’d want to spend it.
Written by Heidi Woodard
And no matter how much time or energy we spend, or what we do, we will always feel like it is not enough. We are moms.
So true, Julie. So true.
On the upside, your true relationships with all them won’t even begin until after college. That’s when it gets good, and you can joke about all the small stuff that happened whilst growing up.
Best sentence ever, “Dad, can you pass the Scotch…?” Why yes, sweetie, I can.
I think I’ve enjoyed watching R-rated comedies with my oldest most of all. I figure he’s super mature in every other aspect of his life (that’s how I justify my poor parenting choices). I figure it’s all part of my training on how to be funny. I feel like I have a bachelor’s degree and he has the potential to have a master’s in comedy. 🙂
Oh, and I think the very fact that parents don’t feel as though they have done enough, is a good indication they have. It’s the parents who don’t think twice about it, or assume they are doing great that I worry about…