Skip to main content


This evening my children spent about 30 minutes conspiring.  Conspiring is a mostly beautiful sound.  A lot of

"Don't let Mom seeeee!"

"Get one of those!"

"That's what we need!"

instead of the usual "Josh _________ me!" or "CAAARRlllyyYYYY!"

I like it when they make up their own little games, I like it more when it involves a surprise for me.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  Crayon drawings?  "Crafts" (quotation marks are the closest thing to sarcasm font on the market today)?  Edible treats?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

My children sued me.  As in, an elaborate trial with a briefcase full of evidence, a possible witness in the form of our dog, and Dad as the judge.

I was accused of being unfair.  I took away Josh's TV and video game privileges because he didn't finish his school work by 3pm.  And while I did, and do, find this amusing on many fronts (imagine, if you will, hard core giggling while my 12 year old son waited anxiously for Dad to pronounce his ruling), it still stung.  More than a little.

I'm a mean mom.  Shout it from the rooftops!  This little game they played, all innocence and angst and no-hard-feelings-intended, only affirmed what I already know.  I'm a mean, horrible, hateful mother.  I'm no mother at all. 

My heart of hearts wants to believe this is not true.  I explained to my son later that I wasn't trying to be mean, I'm really not (always) mean out of spite.  I want what is good and best for him.  I want him to be responsible, to keep his word, to finish his jobs, to learn all he can, to do quality work, to put in maximum effort. 

"I'm not your friend," I said.  "I don't want to be your friend, I want to be your mother.  I want you to be the best possible person you can be."

But inside, a little voice screamed that I do want to be his friend.  I do want him to like me.  I want him to think I'm nice and wonderful and kind and sweet and perfect.  That little voice is very loud.  It keeps telling me that I must be doing it wrong.  All wrong.  Because surely I can be friend AND mother.  I don't have to be so mean.  I don't have to be so impatient all the time.  So loud and critical.  So harsh and self absorbed.  

I wish I knew how to sort out the true from the false.  I wish I knew how to love myself enough to recognize what's good and right, what's wrong and fixable.

But I don't know how.  I don't know how.

I'm not looking for pity, or contradiction, or reassurance.  I'm just trying to get what's in my head to slow down enough that I can sleep peace.


We were so much smarter before we had kids! We knew it all! Now we are constantly second-guessing ourselves. They did that to us and I'm not okay with that. They suck the very life blood from our veins so that nothing gets carried to the brain anymore and we can't think straight! But, God love them, they are cute when they're sleeping. Good luck with all of that.
Heather said…
wow... being sued is harsh. :)

I often feel like you because I want my kids to be obedient and productive BUT sometimes wonder if I'm being a little too crazy about it all. It is something that no one else can judge but you.

Hope you slept last night ;) I've got a book I love when I need some perspective.... which is all the time.
Anonymous said…
That is pretty hilarous! It does make me wonder what that Joshy boy has been watching, perhaps no TV is a good thing right now.

Hopefully you kept copies of the case and evidence - that will be great stuff to review with them when they are older.

Two points to keep in mind: 1- How many parents would actually sit through the trial, as opposed to just kicking the kids out and upping the punishement; and 2- the most true friend makes you better, even when it is hard. Both show your love, and that is the basis of a true friendship. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13. Will greeting our Saviour in the eterneties be any more sweet that greeting our family/friends?

Popular posts from this blog

Dear Carly,

I assume that one day you will come to me wanting to know who you are, where you came from, where your other family is and why they gave you to us.  I offer you little bits of information already, but certainly not crumbs enough to satisfy the appetite.  Perhaps it won't matter to you.  I am assuming a lot, already, about how adoption will impact your life.

People often wonder why adoptive parents are hurt when their children seek out biological roots.  I have the answer, and it's very simple.  Adoption - at its core - makes us question the legality, authority, voracity, and validity of parenthood.  For most adoptive parents, first you must come to terms with an issue that strikes at the foundations of mortality: fertility.  From birth, most of us are driven to form families.  First we are nestlings, nurtured and weened and eventually taught to fly.  Then we are nest-builders, filling our lives with the stuff necessary to drive life forward.  Knowledge, safety, money, a sturdy …

Fragmented re-introduction

I dreamed a dream once of what this would be like.  Of life.  Of patterns and songs and ticking off boxes to find my way. 

Trouble was, I keep looking at the wrong list.

This year's list:

- Turn 40 (check)
- Move again (check)
- Send the boy on a mission (check)
- Finish admin license
- Get lost (check)
- Get found (check)
- Lost again (check)

Wait, that went off track. 

Adulthood is a lot of getting off track.  And back on.  It's weird.

I thought at 40, I would have it all together.

But, I'm barely keeping it from falling apart. 


So, this is me where I am now.

40, working, waiting.  My boy's on a mission in Boise.  My girl's 12 going on 20.  My husband hates his job most days, and loves it alternatively.  Same for me.  We live in a small town I don't like very much and dream of going somewhere else, but we don't know where that is. 

I want to be a writer, but I don't spend time writing.

I read something the other day that gave me hope: Guy Fieri…

It feels like...

Having an (almost) teenage daughter can be...quite an experience. 

"I hope you have a kid just like you," so the saying goes.  Usually, you only hear this if you're a rough kid.  I was a rough kid - in some ways.  I gave my mom a pretty hard time.  And, if she wished for a kid that was 'just like me' to come along as payback - the parent gods smiled on that wish.

Today (after a pretty tragical and frustrating encounter) Carly said: I just needed to get mad at somebody.  I don't know why.

Well, if that doesn't sum up teenage angst, I don't know what does.

It also kind of applies to adult angst.  Some days I just want to be mad at somebody and walk around stomping my feet.  Today I felt like that.  In between good things, though, so at least there's balance.

And balance is tricky this days, too.

It feels like the house is a wreck (it mostly isn't, but sort of is).

It feels like I'm swimming in work and can't catch up (this one is very tr…