Well, in truth, I can sometimes shock myself when I stop and have a minute to think and realize that I am a MOTHER, period. A mother of two children. A mother of an eight year old and an 16-month old. A mother of one girl and one boy. ME!
That is just so cool, but often seems as though I am reading in on someone else's life, so in awe that its MY life. God has blessed me abundantly with this life I live and wake up to every day.
As we attended my sons orientation last Friday at school. We met his super sweet teacher Mrs. Lynch, who has arrived from the Coral Spring NBP school to ours. They have moved ALL Coral Springs students to the Coconut Creek campus where Hunter attends. His meet and greet the teacher lasted a total of 30 seconds before he was off running the hallways of the school, searching out the list on all other teachers doors to see where his friends would be stationed for the next several months. While leaving me to get attacked by all those other people, you know, the other people they call "parents." Yea, its not my favorite part of orientation.
Don't get me wrong, its great to say hi and catch up with the "normal' parents of the school. The ones that can actually look you in the eye with real emotion and intent and carry on a legit conversation with you. While the others give you that big fake smile, that real high pitch voice and tap on the back kind of hug. I am sure everyone that is a parent of a child in school has experienced one or more of those kind of parents. You have haven't you? Well, if you haven't..... maybe you need to ask if you are one of "those" other kind of people. LOL. Just kidding.
Okay, so here I am standing in Hunter's class room, checking the clock as to how quick I can get out of there without looking rude to the teacher and other parents. As I chat with a couple of the moms that I actually enjoy, and then hope I don't have to come in eye contact with those I rather not deal with on my first day back.
I start searching out the hallways looking for my child so we can escape the zoo. I feel like Madagascar, the movie. Looking for all my routes and escape options.
Then my son and his friend run up to me, as they both already broke out a sweat from all the running around they had done and out of breath trying to tell me that his friend has a "MAN TEACHER."
Indeed he does have a man teacher. The boys say it however like "THE---MANNNN---TEACHER" as if it is something really BIG or SCARY even. THE MAN TEACHER!
They have never seen a man teacher before in all their 3 years of school. The men in the school are either authoritative figures in the school or teach a specialty subject like music or P.E. etc. All they have known are female classroom teachers. Its pretty funny when they talk about this man teacher.
Along with all this third grade hype, my third grade child thinks he is the coolest cat around. He is now wearing these aviator sunglasses, much like the ones his mother wears. But yet, he considers himself "cool looking" and I "nerdy looking," what gives?
Yes, to my third grader, the one whom recently also thinks he knows everything and is trying to express such smartness and coolness, saying that I embarrass him. When I pull up to drop him off some place, he wants me to turn down my music, because it isn't the music that HE believes to be cool. I am listening to Casting Crowns by the way. See what I am dealing with here?
Ok, so we have all been there and done that with our own parents, I know that. However, I don't think I ever verbally felt brave enough to tell my parents these thoughts out loud. I was a please'r and never would want to hurt or disrespect anyone like that.
My son will not even kiss me in public anymore, especially if anyone of his peers are around to witness it. I basically have to threaten to REALLY embarrass him if he doesn't give me a kiss good-bye, and most of the time he gives in, taking my word on REALLY embarrassing him, so he then leans in and gives me the "yea, yea, get it over with" kind of kiss good-bye. I don't care, because at least I know should that be the last time we see each other, he knows he was loved by me, cool or not.
Besides, doesn't my kid realize who his mother is? I am Misty Rice (Baniewicz), a fun, fearless, world traveler, adventurous mother. I am SO cool. He has no idea how cool his mom is. LOL
Okay, so maybe I appear to be cool, and underneath all this coolness, is truly a big fat dork (probably so), and he just sees the dork side of it all. The one that is always on his case about brushing his teeth, doing his homework, cleaning up his mess, eating his veggies and giving him that parenting kind of answers to any topic discussed between us.
I have to constantly remind myself that he is not my friend, I am not his friend. That he is the child, I am the parent, and that I do all the things that I do for him, out of love, for him. If along the way, he learns to respect me and appreciate my parenting toward him and then we become friends on top of that, then I am blessed.
Its way too easy to fall into the "my feelings just got hurt" by an eight year old boy that I love and work so hard to provide and protect, that we can tend to slack and not push them so hard. In the long run that is more harmful to them than doing the strict parent route. Often we as parents can also fall into the "fallen world" of things and not be the best examples to our children, sometimes acting like children ourselves still.
I found myself like this the other morning.
I am not a morning person, but I have improved a great deal over the last 20 something years. Except for this one morning. Ahem.
It was the first day of school, and all through the house, it was going just fine as to my little plan. When all of the sudden, it was time to leave. My son hadn't brushed his teeth. As I told him to for the millionth time, and as we begin to rush out the door. We begin to argue about his book reports he had and hadn't done correct. As we are trying to rush out the door, and while arguing over who was right and wrong, he little smart mouth was testing my patience big time. As I am pulling out of the garage, there is a white table leaning up against the cabinets in front of my car. It decides to fall on my car as a am backing out putting 4 small dents in the front of my bumper. I became fumed, and yelled at my son at the top of my voice. Something I try to not do ever, because we all know that not much if anything is being heard through yelling. This day however, I was fed up with his mouth, him thinking he knows it all and the table on my car didn't' help.
So, I am driving, yelling, mumbling curse words under my breath. In perfect timing, Morgan makes us all laugh. As she is sitting in the back waving her finger around just like mommy, jibber-jabbing as if to repeat everything I am saying. It was hilarious and just what was needed to cool the temp down in the car at that moment.
Finally, we arrive at school as the rest of the ride there was pretty quiet and uneventful. I say good-bye, tell him I love him and drive off.
At that instant the guilt set in, that I was yelling at him on his first day of school. So not necessary. So not needed. So not cool. See I am not as cool as I think I am, most of the time. Most of the time, I am just a little human being that screws up more than I like to with a temper that can pop out like a firecracker when least expect it, when my buttons are pushed too much.
I felt guilty all day long about it.
The first thing I did when picking him up from school was ask him about his day, and then took the opportunity to teach my son about being human in a fallen world. However, even parents (like mom) can fall, and make wrong choices and be impatient. I apologized for yelling at him. I apologized for losing my temper. I apologized for making a poor choice in my actions and that I was wrong for making the choices I made, regardless of the choices he chose to make. I told him that him making wrong choices and upsetting me, doesn't give me the right to make a wrong choice in return. Although, that seems to be the most natural and easiest of things to do. That he too will remember this conversation and he too will have moments where someone will make the wrong choice, and he then will have the opportunity to make better choices, the right choice of his own.
Well, I feel better sharing that bit of our week. And maybe someone else needs to read it and be reminded, that although you may be parents of your children, you are NEVER bigger, better or too good or above to apologize to your children when you have made poor choices. If you ever feel that you don't have to apologize to your kid, because they are "kids." Then you disrespect them and devalue them, and that makes you a coward. In order to teach, you must lead by example. You will expose your children to sin and errors, you can't control that, you are a human. So take those opportunities to also lead by example on how to respect all people and apologize to your children when it calls for one.
As we reach the middle of our first week back to school, and retrain ourselves to the school routine and schedule in our home. I need to figure out a way to get my kid to realize he IS as cool as he thinks he is, he will realize later that he wasn't as cool as he thought. I don't want to rob him of that now. But I do want to get him to see rather sooner than later, that his mother is cooler than he thinks, like today. Do you think I have a chance? Yea, probably not.
That's okay with me....
I am a legend in my own mind anyways. I think I will focus on controlling my tone with my know-it-all third grader instead. I need prayer for patience and parenting wisdom. Its not easy being this
uncool cool, raising descent, respectful, smart and loving children in a very mean unloving, UNCOOL world we live in. Its tough.
I look at Morgan and I am reminded how little, sweet, affectionate, kind and tender my third grader once was. He always wanted to please mommy and daddy. Such a sweet loving little boy. Now he is a "thinks he is cool, knows it all and has a mouth to go with it all" THIRD GRADER!!!!
Put a straight-jacket on me now, while I still have a chance. Sigh!!!!
How is the first week of school going in your home?
These are the two struggles right now in our home the MOST, aside from his MOUTH! He hates to brush his teeth and its like pulling teeth to get him to brush them each day.
He wanted to grow his hair out over the summer so he could have "hockey" hair. He wants it long in the back so it sticks out of his helmet. I went a long with it for the summer, but the first day of school I was the one embarrassed by my son arriving at school with hair that looked like.... I don't even know what it looked like.
Thankfully, he came home as the teacher told the class that if their hair touches their collar then they have to get a hair cut. SWEEEEET! It takes the headache and fight off my back of being the bad parent and making him cut it off. So, here we are getting it cut by our awesome Rodrigo, the man that makes his rounds on house calls!!!