“Hey mom can you…?” or “Hey mom I forgot my…” or how about, “Hey mom, can you make me…?”
Sound familiar? To moms around the world I’m sure they do. The amusing, or frustrating, aspect of this behavior makes us laugh with hilarity. I had to put a pillow over my face to hide the giggling when they were younger. Alternatively, I would walk away in annoyance, which happened more often than I’d like as they got older and my meds failed so often it became an awful experience for us all.
So what happened to the little boy who wanted to know, “Why” and, “How do”? He grew up. He became a man. Wounded by my upheavals. Still innocent in some areas though, life hadn’t worn him down yet but he had grown nonetheless, right before my eyes. While I wasn’t even watching. I couldn’t. I literally couldn’t. It wasn’t a won’t. It was a can’t. I work on forgiving myself every day.
It wasn’t all one way or the other though, I took them to the library, the Science Center, the Zoo, dancing penguins, numerous parks, playing in the snow, visiting with family, play dates, hours and hours of indoor play (for those times when I really couldn’t go outdoors). We even hung a swing inside just because of the times I just had to have the kids play indoors. But hey, at least I found a solution! We bought one of those small slide toys which seemed to address their activity concern. On a related note we had tons of fun when bipolar me took them to the ocean, Mt Rushmore, and tons of road trips to random places.
From the other perspective though, there were so many concerts I couldn’t make it to. The number of mornings I couldn’t get out of bed to say, “Have a great day!” were so numerous I just lost count and still feel like crap about it. I was not always a nice mom. My bipolar often reared its head, forcing me to take time away, say things that were not always kind, make promises I couldn’t keep. Forget to make appointments and then forget to keep them, racking up hundreds in “missed appointment fees”. At least once my kid missed the first day of school because I’d mis-read the calendar and forgotten. I don’t get after my kids about being cleaning their rooms because I just often don’t have the energy to fight the battle. In fact there are dozens of battles I just choose not to fight.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, I really do. Every damn one of them! I worked hard to bring them into this world and will love them forever. All of that being said, raising them has been both the most difficult and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Snuggling baby heads suddenly become “Wet me dewit” and that turns into “I’ve got it mom.” quickly switching it up, “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.” once they hit about 18. Of course, 18 is precisely when I worry the most. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mom on this one.
Now that the kids are nearly grown it’s a bit different. I evaluate whether they really mean what they’ve said/done. Are they old enough to understand their choice? Mine are. Are they ready for the consequences? Mine aren’t. At least not for many of them.
Me? I’ll be right over here. Ready to catch them. Flaws and all.