"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
I first saw this quote when my Nae was a toddler. A friend had it framed and hanging in her kitchen. This friend is one of those mom's who seems to have it all together, all the time. She took me under her wing when I was a young single mom who didn't have a clue about anything, let alone being a good mom. She taught me a lot not only by word but by example. I would watch her with a kind of awe.
There's nothing that I ever wanted more than to be a good mom. It's obviously a hard thing to measure and one of my many weaknesses is being extremely hard on myself. Believe me, there's no one more critical of what I think, say or do than the little voice in my head.
It's also extremely dangerous to ask your teenage kids what they think of your parenting skills. I can't tell you how many broken hearted mom's I've heard recalling what their child said when they asked this question. Of course most teens will have a list of ways you can improve. They spend all kinds of time thinking about how unfair their parents are and how their life "sucks". It's a teen thing. In reality they are immature, have little life experience, and have no idea of the emotions, situations, or choices you as an parent have to face. You are only setting yourself up if you ask them that question.
That being said, if I were to die today, I feel I've done a pretty okay job. Yes, I've made lots of mistakes and I have lots of weaknesses (especially in the discipline area, for example) but that's the beauty of having a second half. Where I am weak, The Hubby is strong. And vice versa, of course.
All this serious talk aside (yes, I'm rambling) I think that if my "Wonder Mom" friend were to see me now, she would see that I have failed miserably when it comes to her quote. I hang my head in shame, as I admit, I am one of those parents who are constantly running things to their kids that they forget. Lunches, field trip money, gym clothes....you get the picture.
Yes, I've read all about the damage I am doing by allowing this. You don't need to tell me.
Each of my kids are forgetful (or unorganized) to a certain degree. Nae~only when she was overwhelmed, Bud~very rarely, Tony~once every couple of weeks maybe, and then there's Mac~oh! Mac!
The quote above seems to be written just for kids like Mac. You know, kids who are on the "dramatic" side. Most of the phone calls I get from Mac regarding this subject are frantic. Here's how one went that I got yesterday....
"Mom! I forgot _______! I will DIE if I don't turn it in today! I'm serious I will DIE! Will you please bring it?!!"
Mac has been working in the counseling office at school this semester. She was working when I went in there yesterday on this "emergency forgotten item" call. All the office ladies had obviously already heard of Mac's crisis.
"So....you're Mac's mom." the lady at the front desk said (I get this tone and look of sympathy a lot when first meeting Mac's teachers or coaches or friend's parents). All the ladies sitting at their desks behind her look up at me and nod their heads in some kind of understanding or something. (In Mac's defense, they all told me how much they love her and how much she makes them laugh.)
Mac rushes over from her desk and takes what she needs from me. Her friend Emily, is sharing her desk. She also thanks me for bringing it (so she wouldn't have to hear Mac lamenting all day about dying!!!).
That was yesterday, and wouldn't you know it, I get another call today. This one was more like "I will FAIL....blah, blah, blah"
I got the call right after she got to school this am. I thought to myself "I'll just jump in the shower and then run it over" but then on second thought.....
I went into the office this morning in my PJ's just hoping it would be the time when classes are changing. The ladies in the office seem so sweet and understanding (they DO work with teens all day).
I said "yes, I got another emergency call this morning. I don't want her to die!"
"Oh, well yes" she says in her sweet understanding voice "well, when does she need this?"
"Not until last hour" I said. "I could have showered first but I was hoping you guys could help me out. Could you just tell her how lovely I looked in my PJ's? Make it sound like I looked really embarrassing (I did). Maybe throw out the name of one of the cute boys in the school and say that I had a lovely conversation with him in the hall."
Who knows, maybe this will be the last call I get.
Upon my return from Africa and following several phone conversations with close friends inquiring about my experience, it became apparent to me I would be ...