Did everyone have a great Mother’s Day? I did. There was breakfast, cooked by someone NOT me, a back rub, a boatload of chocolate, a picnic and a movie. That last bit was my idea. I’ve been jonesing to see The Avengers all week, but normally can’t justify seven movie tickets. Hubby is hell bent on getting rid of our Netflix subscription, but I manage to stave him off arguing that we never, ever go to the movie theater…Then I sniff loudly and look generally pitiful. It works, since he knows one of my most favorite things in the world is a trip to the movies.
Sunday, however, being Mother’s Day, won me a free pass to pick what I wanted. Partially because on Mother’s Day I get to decide what we do but also because Hubby super sucks at planning these kind of things. Choosing to see The Avengers was a win-win-win situation because: a) Hubby all but collapsed with relief to have the decision made for him b) I got to see Joss Whedon’s latest film and c) the kids were absolutely convinced that I am the best mom EVER. They’re still talking about the year I maintained that what I really wanted was to play laser tag. (It wasn’t.)
Here’s the deal; I am a pretty good mom. But not because I happen to have a ten year old boy’s taste in movies. It’s all the stuff they do NOT appreciate that really matters. For example:
I am a total hard-ass when it comes to discipline. I will and have gone so far as to cancel a birthday party as a punishment, usually for disrespectful behavior. I am 100% unafraid to be extremely unpopular in the face of these decisions. Seven people in one bungalow, well, that’s a little like being rats in a lab cage. The only way we can function is by respecting that we are part of a community and sometimes what we want in the moment isn’t what’s best for all of us. I, for one, have plenty of mornings when I think drinking would help immensely. I don’t do that, see, so how hard is it for these kids to speak and act respectfully to each other?
Too many folks are raised thinking that they are the center of the freaking Universe. They are petted, and coddled and told that no one is as important as they are. Now, I can’t prove it, but I am absolutely convinced that these are the people who grow up to budge line, talk on their cell phones in the bank lobby, text while driving, read Ayn Rand and perpetuate Ponzi schemes on the elderly. (Like I said, it’s an informal observation.)
There is a big difference between letting my kids know that they are the most important things to me and allowing them to believe that they should be the most important thing where ever they go. Hence the hammer-like fist of justice that mom wields whenever selfishness or a decided lack of empathy rears its ugly head. If I can play laser tag on Mother’s day, by God, you all can help your sister find her spelling homework, say, or take your brother’s turn washing dishes when he has the flu. As much as I love the excitement on the kids faces when they hear that mom picked a movie! with superheros! instead of the museum or a craft fair, say, I am far more satisfied when I see them being polite to our waiter or holding the door to let someone else enter the theater first.
At times like that I know I’ve earned my annual Mother’s Day treasure trove of chocolates. And though it may seem hypocritical, I ain’t sharing that candy with anybody.