Moms of the World Unite (Over a Box of Tissues)

16 Aug
yes, that is me – with some weird death grip on my son

According to my husband, I have ice water running through my veins.  I can turn off the Playstation 3 my son is playing – in the middle of a level, jeez!! – without blinking an eye because it’s bedtime.  I can tell my kids they’re not getting dessert because they didn’t eat enough of their grow food, while I simultaneously plan how to eat an ice cream sundae behind their backs.  I can say no to requests for candy, TV, toys, trips, extra bedtime stories, and just about anything my kids ask me for.

But let’s face it, I’m still human.  A mom’s heart can only take so much.

Lately, I’ve endured several giant tugs – no, rips, really – of my heartstrings with my son, the almost-Kindergartner:

1) He wouldn’t ride on the same step with me on the escalator.  He insisted on being as many steps above me as possible.

2) He wouldn’t let me hold him on the merry-go-round.  Of course he doesn’t need me to hold him – he’s almost six, for crying out loud!  I suppose it’s a wonder he even wants to ride it at all.

3) He ice-skated around the skating rink twice completely alone.  (Of course, I was following him around outside, giving him constant thumbs-ups and taking videos.  Apparently, I am THAT mom.)

4) He sassed me.  This has happened a few times lately.  While I’m totally used to it with my daughter (I certainly don’t enjoy that, but for her it comes as naturally as breathing), my son has NEVER been a sassy kid.  He’s a pleaser, and doesn’t want to disappoint me.  Maybe his sister is rubbing off on him, or maybe it’s just nerves or the anticipation of newfound independence at school, but every now and then, he gives me some lip.  The other day at a restaurant, I told him to eat his veggies or he wouldn’t get any ice cream.  Without missing a beat, he said, “Bossy, bossy, bossy!”  I swear I dropped my fork, and the music at On the Border screeched to a halt.  And the (almost) funny part was, he looked even more shocked than me.  His eyes were as big as saucers as he shrunk back in his seat, looking so mortified you’d think he’d been body-snatched and had no idea where those words came from.

5) We went to Meet the Teacher night at his new school where he will start Kindergarten on Wednesday.  He didn’t want to leave.  Enough said.

Like I said, my heart can only take so much.  I alternate between pride at his growth and sheer terror at his potential vulnerability in the world.  Things are so exciting right now, but SO scary.  At least that’s how they are for me – he’s only feeling the excitement, which is a good thing.  Maybe we’ve raised him right.

I often smile when I imagine women throughout the ages thinking the same thoughts I do:  “Oh my goodness, my baby is growing up so fast!  Just yesterday he was toddling around on his daddy’s chariot, and now he’s a Roman soldier.  Where did the time go?”  I think of my mother tearfully muddling through my first day of Kindergarten (she sat in the parking lot and cried), and I bet my grandmother did the same for her.  But even knowing my thoughts about being a parent are probably never original, they still choke me up.  I have vowed NOT to look at any baby pictures of my kids this week or I may never recover!

Think of me tomorrow morning, at about 8:10 am, when I’ve just dropped off my son for his first day of Kindergarten.  I’ll be discreetly blowing my nose and dabbing my eyes while trying not to freak out my 3-year-old.  Feel free to join me, give me a pat on the back or even laugh at me.  It happens to all of us at one point or another, and misery loves company!

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3 Responses to “Moms of the World Unite (Over a Box of Tissues)”

  1. Martha Mattison August 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Jen, you should submit this to a magazine.

  2. Rhonda Fuselier August 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Jen, you don’t even understand how MUCH I understand this! Very well articulated. I’ve put FIVE babies in Kindergarten, and it NEVER gets easier. I can’t tell you how many people have said, “You’re crying?” or “Aren’t you used to this by now?” NO! No, I am not. They are all my babies, and I cried for all of them. My husband, God Bless him, won’t say a word to make fun of me (and I think he secretly respects me for showing the emotion I do).
    My daughter, last year, made me two special boxes of Kleenexes. One for the twins’ Kindergarten, one for her going to college. THAT, my friend, is yet another RIP in your heart. So proud of her, but so torn! Even though she was only going to Denton, I cried the whole way there, tried to put myself together while there but still cried a little bit, and cried all the way back! How on EARTH did the time fly so fast?
    Finally, I’m glad you made the remark about your mother and grandmother. My daughter teases me about crying for her brothers, but I’ll be standing right beside her (probably crying too), to watch her cry and finally “understand” when her baby goes to Kindergarten!
    It’s so rewarding and so hard to watch those babies grow!

  3. Val August 17, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    I will be thinking of you and all the moms walking their little ones into a classroom tomorrow. Be strong!

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