I think I’m a miserable failure. I don’t think I got this mom thing right at all. I don’t know how to fix it.
The temperatures this past week have been abysmal, in the toilet, my own special kind of hell. I hate winter with a passion not seen in a normal person, but I put up with it and plug along. I layer and layer and layer my clothes. I have all the right things to keep me warm. Being a hockey mom, I know how to dress for cold, even though I despise it. Winter slammed us hard in the past days. Cold, snow, yuck, yuck and more yuck. So I responded by donning the appropriate attire, and I headed out into the elements in my Uggs, fleece lined tights and a warm layer upon warm layer to deliver some groceries to my mom.
As soon as I walk into her house, the peppering begins.
“How can you be warm enough? You don’t have enough clothes on. You should be zipped and buttoned up. It’s not good to be breathing this cold air into your lungs,” with me responding with my best teenage impersonation.
“Mom,” I say with an eye-roll as she starts to zip my fleece jacket up to my chin, “I’m perfectly warm. I have plenty of clothes on. I’m layered from top to bottom.” And then I unzip the jacket she’s desperate to zip.
I plot my escape and leave with nary a zipper zipped, and a teenager’s chip on my shoulder. But as I’m driving away, I start thinking about Claire, my own teenager. Before I went to my mom’s, I dropped Claire off at the pool where she spends a fair share of her free time. She volunteered to time for other swimmers and accrue some community service hours. I knew when and why I dropped her off, but try as I might I couldn’t remember the what of the equation…what she was wearing. The temperatures were hovering around 15 degrees (that’s fahrenheit, not celsius) and I couldn’t remember if she had a coat on. I was pretty sure she had a sweatshirt on, but I couldn’t remember if she had her warm and cozy coat on.
And that’s when I started to think that maybe I flunked this most basic of motherhood tests. I didn’t even know if my daughter had her coat on in these frigid temps. “Oh, GAWD! I must be the world’s worst mother! Who does that? Who lets her kid go out in subzero temperatures without making sure she has a coat on? What kind of a Momster am I?” And yes, I did call myself a Momster…that’s no typo!
It happened again today. I was selfishly reading through the posts on Facebook, ignoring my family, when I saw the post on one of the VMI pages that the dining hall was closed yesterday due to the massive snow they received. The moms on Facebook were concerned. How would their children eat? What would they do without the dining hall? So last night some of these moms placed phone calls to restaurants in the Lexington area to have meals delivered to the barracks so their kids would have dinner. And I had no idea this was all happening. My poor baby. What if he didn’t have a thing to eat? What if he couldn’t walk down to the PX and order a sandwich from Subway, or a hamburger from the grill? It’s official. I’m a true Momster! I had no idea the dining hall was closed. I had no idea how my college kiddo was going to be fed. I was in the dark about this issue. So today, a day late, I texted Zach to ask if it was true…was the dining hall really closed yesterday? “Yes,” he said. “Why?”
I told him the story of the parents calling to find restaurants to deliver food. This was his response…
“Hahahahaha. What the hell is the matter with people? Your kids are in college, but they are treated like babies. These moms are crazy. We go to one of the hardest schools in the nation and these kids can’t survive six hours without the dining hall. I’m glad you’re not like that.”
Okay, so maybe I don’t really think I’m a Momster, and, yes, this is all tongue in cheek.
I know I’m the first one to lament and whine about my kiddos growing up too fast, but I’m the last one to hover. I’m pretty hands-off, except when I’m required to be hands on. I was the first one to do a happy dance when my kids could take care of their own backsides after using the bathroom. I’m all about my kids being able to fix themselves pancakes, eggs, sandwiches and then clean up after themselves. I’m all about them being responsible for their own comfort, and learning from their mistakes when they’re not. I try hard not to rescue them from every imaginable hurt, even though sometimes I cringe and cry when they have to go through something tough…like Hell Week at VMI.
I may have flunked motherhood in other ways, but not in this area. I may “flunk” when I don’t allow them to have massive, roaring parties on New Year’s Eve, but I’m more than fine with that, knowing I’m keeping us all out of trouble with the law. I may be a Momster when it comes to not letting my kids spend the night at someone’s house when I don’t know the parents, but that’s okay. I’ll take the title in these instances and I’ll wear it like a badge of honor.
Oh, for the love of my children….