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Tales of a Beaverton Super-Mom

| February 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

Cruisin’ through parenting

18-super-mom-lead I really wish there was more to worry about in this whole parenting gig, don’t you? I mean, sometimes I just feel like everything is a little TOO easy, like we’re just cruising through, making all these flawless decisions, avoiding harmful viruses and accidents without a care, never raising our voices or regretting our words, and it’s just sort of like I’m Julie Andrews in a field of Edelweiss with my guitar…surrounded by my matching and orderly children who are all compliant about singing harmoniously to a song that was not written within the last 30 seconds and is therefore not even cool. Oh yeah? You too, huh?

And here’s the thing I’m learning about all of this, albeit very slowly: I’m not sure if it’s ever going to get any easier. When they were babies, I was sure I would never know the difference between dusk and dawn again because life was a blur of alternate nursing and diapering; when they were toddlers, I was positive I would never sit down on the couch or eat at an adult restaurant again. Now that we are slowly approaching stages of independence with the older two, there are so many things that I want to be sure they understand, things I know the world and time will eventually teach them but pray they leave our home with an inkling of what’s important—basic, somewhat cliché lessons like “Meaningful work will always trump big money” and “No one will ever remember your talents or looks…they will remember how you made them feel.” I may be a bit Pollyanna in this simplicity, but when they are ready to fly, the message I want in their hearts IS really very simple: “Respect yourself, find goodness in the world—and then share it with others, and most importantly, know that you are loved.”

So on days when these deep thoughts are nudging the back of my brain and I’m wondering if anyone in this house is receiving the messages I think we’re vocalizing so loud and clear above the din of bickering and lost items, it’s the kids who make me laugh and loosen up…not by trying to be funny (because Lord knows that is never ACTUALLY funny), but by having the maturity to throw out some self-deprecating humor or in the innocence of being so spot on without even knowing it.

Lately we’ve been having talks with my 6th grader about focusing on the needs of the whole family, rather than just the needs of one person…say, hypothetically, an 11 yr-old. I think she finally got our message when she sent me this text from school:

M: Mom, I just lost my crown!

Me: Oh no! Does it hurt?

M: Not really. But don’t worry. It was only the one on my tooth!!!

Gotta love a queen who can laugh at herself.

And when my 5 yr-old gives a new acquaintance of ours her take on Miley Cyrus, I try to stand back and not get defensive since my preschooler knows way more about pop singers than she probably should:

K: “You know when Miley wears those long pants and shows her tummy?? Well, that’s okay. Because Princess Jasmine wears that, too. BUT…when she wears those white undies and swings on that big ball??? That’s NOT okay. Because it’s not appwopwiate. ” Two seconds of Pop Danthology, and the whole world thinks your child has unlimited access to the internet. But at least she also has an inkling of her mother’s rules on dress code, right?? That’s the way I’m going to look at it, even if our new friend with her raised eyebrows didn’t.

And when I’m truly at my wits end with the little things, like housework and chores and division of labor, my youngest reminds me that I simply need to expand my faculties.

Me, standing in a typhoon of dress-up clothes and Legos: “Kiana, I thought you told me you cleaned your room!!”

K, shaking her head in disappointment: “Mama, USE your IMAN-gination!! You weeallllyyy need to learn how to pretend better.”

Maybe she’s right. Maybe learning to “pretend better” would help me focus on the things that I truly care about, rather than the insignificant pieces that will eventually work themselves out. For in the next minute, she handed her sister a carefully drawn picture of our family standing on a hill, with each person on top of the next, making a tower to the sky and said excitedly: “This is us! This is our family!! And we’re touching the RAINBOW because when we help each other and stand on our shoulders, we are very TALL!!!”

Yes, ma’am, I think you’ve got it down.

By Maureen Wilson

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Category: Beaverton Voice, Tales of a Super-Mom

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