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 …

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

You know when you see someone again and it's been, like, forever, and you're not really even sure that you're getting their name right and you wonder WHAT on EARTH they've done to their hair/face/body/children and you can't quite find the right words to fill the gap between time and space?
My second year of teaching is just beginning - and isn't that a wonder?  Last year...let's just say, we all survived.  Last year involved:
- Commuting home (2 hours, one way) almost every weekend - The kids and I here (in Espanola, where I teach) while Eric stayed in Edgewood - Putting our (still for sale) house on the market - Two semesters of Master's classes (what was I thinking??? on the up side, I only have 1 semester left and I am DONE.  D. O. N. E.) - Saturday's spent in professional development - My first ever "work trip" to San Diego 
And this year:
- Josh is a Senior (whuuuut!) - Carly started 5th grade - We all live here in Espanola (double WH…