Thursday, March 8, 2012

Item #10 Revisited

"My mom always said that there would be haters. Not everyone can love ya."
--Joel Madden

I've been at this parenting thing for more than 10 years now, my kids aren't in trouble at school or with the law. I'm far from the perfect mother, but so far--knock on wood--I'm doing a fairly adequate job of raising the little people (along with my partner-in-crime, of course).

I was going over my bucket list to see what I could tackle next and stopped short when I reached item #10: "Be the cool mom without letting my kids run wild." I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking when I wrote this on the bucket list. Or when I thought I might finish this completely enough to check it off the list. (I was so young and naive . . . back in September.) When do I stop being the parent? When they graduate? From high school? No. College? No. When they get married? No. Have children of their own? No.

From where I stand, a parent never stops being a parent.

I couldn't find an appropriate picture for this post, so please enjoy this photo of my mother-in-law's goat.
His name is Ricky.

Now to the "cool" part. What the heck does that even mean?! Cool to whom? My kids? Other kids? Other moms? I'm sure I'll go through periods of coolness and periods of significantly less than coolness.

Am I okay with being considered "not cool" by my 6-year-old because I dance while I'm cooking? You betcha! Do I care if my 10-year-old son's friends think I'm mean because I don't let him do something that other parents let their kids do? Not in the least.

As long as I can make up for those moments by jumping on the bed at a hotel with them, or seeing if I can pour YooHoo into their mouths while they lie on the ground and I stand over them  (of course, I had to mop afterward), or surprising them by taking them to a movie on a day off of school, I am pretty satisfied with my role.

I'm a strict mom. Does that mean my children never screw up? Absolutely not. Do they sometimes make terrible decisions because they have weighed the consequences and deliberately decided to do something that breaks my heart? Sadly, yes. But that's their prerogative, I guess. As parents, Stephen and I follow through on the determined discipline, and we all move on. And there are times that I have screwed up. I either let them do something I realized later I shouldn't have, or I said they couldn't do something just because it was easier to say no.

Both of my kids hugged me in front of their classmates when I visited the school today. And for today, that's good enough.
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