A Little Bit Of Truth.
I was third-trimester pregnant, flipping through Jackson’s baby book. There were so many empty pages to fill out. Full of hope, I fingered through the book and tried to imagine what would end up on those precious pages. First bath. First smile. First tooth. First trip, holiday, food, step ... First birthday. Six empty pages followed that first birthday page ... Room for photos and info on the second birthday, third birthday, all the way up to the first day of school.
It was then, holding a baby book, staring at the blank spot for my one-day kindergartener on his first day of school, that it hit me that I wasn’t just having a baby - I was having a whole person. It was beautifully overwhelming, and has continued to feel exactly that - beautifully overwhelming.
He was an imaginative one year old. An overly articulate two year old. An adventerous couch-leaper of a three year old. The sweetest souled four year old. Each year he amounted to more and more and being his Mom got better and better.
<Queue that screeching record player sound>
I knew he would be a teenager one day. With dread, I reflected upon my own teenage behavior ... if your children are “payback”, well, my day was-a-coming. Teenagers are 13 and beyond, right? I don’t think I was a total teen until maybe 15. (I do things on my own time. Okay?) Imagine my shock when my 9 year old son showed some sass. A little more came at 10. And now, at 11, we are facing a totally-riddled-with-hormones tween crisis. Shit is cray. I really thought we had more time. I was wrong. (Mothers of pre-tweens. PREPARE YOURSELVES.)
It’s bizarre to parent. Bizzzzzzzzarre. I was 11 once. I remember feeling like him. I remember thinking my parents were crazy, and wrong, and so olllllllllld. I remember my Mom telling me what to say in various stressful situations, and thinking she was nuts if she thought I’d be caught dead saying words like that. “Kids don’t talk that way, Mom.” (Followed by an eye roll and open mouthed “GAHHHHHH.”) And now, I AM THEM. Jackson gave me the whole “Kids don’t talk that way, Mom” talk just two days ago. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
It’s a strange twist seeing how his demons often parallel my own. Do we ever really grow up? Do we ever learn? Does this stop at 40 maybe? (Please say yes.)
Today’s lesson was about truth. I told my kiddo, after some false information/rumors were spread about him, that the truth is the truth, and it cannot be changed. It’s unfortunate that some people believe the misinformation. It’s bothersome. It crawls under you skin at 11, at 34, and I’m sure even beyond. But the truth, is the truth - and he knows that those things aren’t true. He just has to be the bigger person, rise to the challenge, and hope other people will see the truth, sooner or later. (And spoiler alert: They will. But maybe not at 11.)
Life is a rollercoaster. Nothing prolific about realizing that. But it’s a different ride in the back cart ... and I think that’s what parenting kind of is. You can see what’s coming - the climb, the fall - the smoothing out. (Too many metaphors? Maybe.) Today my baby ate a tube of chapstick (It was a Dr. Bronner’s before you freak out), and my toddler broke her favorite snow globe. (I turned away for a milisecond - but still. The back cart should have seen that coming!) Most days, my little hormone rager is somehow ... the easiest kid. Even with a little Jeckyl/Hyde vibe going on - it only gets better and better to be his Mom. And ya know what? That is the truth.