Impossible Standards

You know the friend who always shows up with the home-baked batch of cookies that makes you look at your store-bought cardboard ones and sigh? Or the woman who can run circles around you when in your mind you are really an Olympian? Or the neighbor who is always put together and would never be spotted in the produce section with two-day old mascara and bed head?  How about the Mom who has got the most well-behaved, smart, good-natured and well-adjusted kids? How does she do it and how much does she charge for revealing her secrets?

I visited one of those Moms recently with my kids. We happen to be lucky enough to be related to her and her awesome offspring. Here is how part of the visit unfolded.

“Mom! She’s touching me!”

“He touched me first!”

” You lie!”

“Stop it!” Angry eyes. The Look. Clenched teeth. I Have Had It Up To Here.

And one embarrassment after another for three days…sigh.

Where did it go wrong?  How did this little person who snuggled while we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar become so sassy and defiant?

And what is my relative thinking of my stellar parenting skills and obvious lack of anger management?

At some point in the weekend I revealed the pedestal on which her rock star parenting and impeccable (almost-all-grown) children had been placed. And she was oh-so-quick to correct me and take herself down from her post up high. She proceeded to share some snip-its that revealed some cracks in her armor and some flaws in my thinking. Bless her.

Really?? Had I got it all wrong? Was there really a time when she didn’t have it all under control?  I had never seen anything of the likes she described. And having changed some of their diapers along the way, I have been around these kids for Y.E.A.R.S….and witnessed a lot of interactions between them. When did these transgressions happen?

Well, they did.

A little relief.  A little reality check. Thanks for that.

Moms, give yourselves a break.

However, this one did opt to make her fabulous cookies…Something to strive for!

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Aside

Get Me a Technology Transplant, STAT!

MinionsI have become the old, out-of-touch Mom. It’s official. Even my siblings are calling me out.  I am locked in to a contract with a cell phone company until March.  I am a dinosaur in the cell phone world. Who stays with their cell phone provider for eleven years? Apparently this girl!

The first day of school rolls around and amid hundreds of Facebook posts you won’t find my kids. Nope, their Mom does not get 4G service in our town. Thus no instantaneous posts touting the excitement, fun and fashion of the first day of school. Bad Mom.

No less than fourteen texts came in to my phone that morning while having coffee with friends that included pictures of my niece and nephew in all of their first day of school glory, comments from my siblings and Mom. Digs at me. How old-school I am. Lots of cyberspace chuckles were had at my expense.

Being passed around our table at the coffee shop were iPhones, iPads and a rather fancy uploading device to immediately transfer pictures from phone to tablet. I had nothing to share. Old fashioned digital camera for me.  Gasp! The pictures are still locked in my camera and have yet to see the light of day. Please, don’t alert the technology authorities.

Rewind a few days before this, while driving I heard this comment out of the mouth of my oldest: “You automatically get a banana vacuum.” Excuse me?! What planet are we on? Apparently this sentence does actually exist and makes sense to a kid playing Minion Rush, a video game based off of the movie Despicable Me.

A few minutes later was heard: “The Beijing police just came out of the sky and got me!” Really. This revelation is brought to us by the game Subway Surfer.

These kids today…

Can you just see the little minions laughing at me?

Love Letter to Mom

Happy Bday MomThank you for letting me back in the house when I packed up my corduroy briefcase from Grandma and “ran away” from home because macaroni and cheese wasn’t on the menu that night.

How cool are you for helping me color my hair when I was 14? Except for the time we got it so wrong and you took me to the high-end salon to be sure it was fixed right.

By putting in a good word for me at your long-time employer it ultimately led me to my husband.

Passing along the special red plate tradition as a marker of an achievement or birthday made a lasting impression.

Did you know that the Irish Lullaby you used to sing to our two oldest is the Lullaby they now sing to Baby Girl?

For having the most optimistic outlook on life yet still knowing time and again how to respond to my glass half-empty rants is perfect.

When you can’t stop laughing from something being funny, I can’t seem to either.

To this day, the chicken and biscuits you made the day we brought our firstborn home from the hospital ranks among the best home-cooked meals we’ve ever had.

Despite the additional paper coming in to my house, (!) the numerous magazine and newspaper articles, coupons and deals you want to share is endearing and thoughtful.

The first person who calls me in anticipation of a good story from an event, a trip or an overall momentous occasion is you. I’m looking forward to hearing about your latest road trip.

I love that you love fashion, fun and being young.  Age is just a number and you are timeless.

O mystical radio contest winner…from the year’s supply of bubble gum in the 70’s to the Disco cruise we snorted through a few years ago, how do you do it? I can never get through!

By encouraging me to travel, try new things and be joyful about it, you have created a lifelong appreciation for what anticipation can mean. And it is priceless.

You have established yourself as the master bingo caller, VCR operator, consignment shop treasure finder, wine glass connoisseur, beef roll-up maker and rocking chair baby whisperer.

And you have always modeled what it is to be a good daughter, sister, wife and friend. And in doing so you have made it possible for my life to have more meaning.

Three Cheers for you Mom. Repeated daily.

Love, Me