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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sweet Spot

I'm feeling a little sentimental today...

Being a mom is the hardest job I've ever had.  And, although I think I'll always battle those guilty demons that every parent has (am I doing a good job at this...because I have NO idea what I'm doing, gulp), we all just try and do the best we can.

At least that's what I tell myself.

My son is now ten years old.  Ten?  Didn't I just give birth to this little baby boy last week?  Time flies when you're having fun?

Well, to be perfectly honest, the past ten years haven't been all fun and games.  It's been a struggle.  Temper tantrums.  Do I even like my kid right now (and am I really asking myself that)? Am I teaching him how to be a productive member of society?  Am I teaching him how to be a man?  Am I teaching how to be kind and respectful to others?  Am I feeding him healthy food?  This day really sucks...I wish I could just jump in my car and disappear for the weekend.  Did my kid really just look me in the eyes, stand his ground, and tell me no?

Oh shit.  What do I do now?

All that said, my son has reached an age where I am thoroughly enjoying his company.  Like, almost every.single.day.

Wow.

I like to call this age "the sweet spot."

Why?

He's old enough now to fold his own laundry, make his own breakfast, take out the garbage and help me clean the house.  Does he complain?  Yes, but my look, "if you don't do this right effing now I will rock your world" still works (for now)...phew.

And, with that independence, he's also old enough to ask about politics, girl drama, how to deal with relationships with people, read huge books on his own, and vent to me about a crappy day at school without completely losing it.

He and I have long discussions about life, relationships, how to deal when something doesn't go your way...

And I love every minute of it.

Although I loved singing the ABC's to him, these conversations are even better.

The "sweet spot" comes in because, although he and I discuss religion (do you believe in God, mom?), or talk about the girl he likes at school, he's still young enough that he'll let me hold him in my arms.  He'll still come and sit on my lap every morning when he wakes up.  He'll still let me crawl in bed with him and stroke his hair before he goes to sleep.  He'll still confide to me about his ten-year-old life struggles.  I know he doesn't tell me everything but, right now, I'll take what I can get...because I know it won't last.

And when his teacher or another parent tells me, "your son is a good kid," that mom guilt is eased a bit.  It reminds me to breathe.  Breathe, Tasha.  He'll be OK, and so will you.

He won't have childhood memories of his mom baking cookies after school or doing crafts on the weekends, and sometimes I loathe driving the kids around to all their activities (taxi mom!) - and they know it.

But...when I see my son one Tae Kwon Do belt away from black, or doing Common Core math that even has me thinking "I have NO idea how the hell to figure this out," or my daughter rocking the soccer goal and charming every person she meets, I almost can't believe those kids...are MY kids?  How can those people possibly be MY kids?

I don't bake cookies.  I yell at them sometimes.  I complain about having to take them places.  I get stressed out.  I occasionally forget an activity or a birthday party.  And, yet, they're pretty amazing little people.

So, I hope my son will remember that I've loved this time with him.  I know this "sweet spot" is going to go away in the blink of an eye, but I don't ever want it to end.


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