Lisa's Lines 10/21/21

Lisa Ingebrand,

Driving my kids to school one morning, and my fourth grader reports from the back seat:

“Mom! ‘Bob’ and I were talking, and he told me that his mom is going to drive him to and from the field trip next week because he gets sick when he rides a bus. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!” my little redhead spouted in utter disbelief.

A quick glance in my rearview mirror revealed her mouth hung wide and her eyes lit up in shock.

Before I could comment on how nice it is the mom can do that for her kid or even offer a shrug in response to the very dramatic story, Ellen forged on: “Well, I told him that MY MOM would give me a couple of bags and tell me to deal with it.”

She’s not wrong.

Ellen’s very accurate—although not considerate— summation and acceptance of my parenting style made me laugh so hard, I cried.

The best part: She is PROUD of her self sufficiency, as she should be. She can manage herself. I know it, and she knows it.

I can still picture her sitting there like a proud little peacock with her arms crossed, her chin raised, and a self-assured little grin on her face.

Even though I wish I could be the mom who is able to drive her kid to and from field trips so they can avoid the icky and humiliating experience of getting sick on a school bus (kudos to you), I’m not that mom, and my kids are okay… at least I think they are. And, maybe, just maybe, they are even better for it. Ellen thinks she is.

So, I’m going to call it a parenting win.

Heck, I could really use one right now.

In the past two weeks, I’ve managed to mess up my daughters’ tennis and volleyball schedules at least twice, causing one to miss an entire practice and the other to show up an hour late. (I know the coaches and schools are doing everything they can to maintain the pre-season schedules that were sent out months ago—the ones I based my life/kid-shuttling service around. Things change. I get it, but who can keep up with all those emails and reminders of practice, game, and match changes? Parents with more than two children in activities, I bow down to you.)

Oh! And then there was the morning that I threw my daughter’s jersey into the wash just hours before her team’s photo shoot.

Anna, my seventh grader, TOLD me the night before NOT to wash it. But, during my mad dash through the house to shut off all the lights and unplug things that morning… There it was. A “dirty” jersey was crumpled up on my floor at the top of the stairs.

Without thinking, I snatched it up, threw it into the wash machine, poured in the detergent, and sent that tennis uniform on its way to the land of clean laundry.

Then, I went downstairs to herd my children out the door and off to school… just as Anna ran upstairs.

“Mom! Where’s my tennis jersey? It was just here,” she shouted down.

Yep. It was a major mom fail.

My pre-teen was understandably NOT happy with me (adolescent girls bring on a whole new level of mom guilt).

Why did I do it? A crazy mom compulsion perhaps? I still don’t know! (But, I told her the lesson in all of this is that she should never—under no circumstance—leave clothing on the floor. Nice parenting twist, huh?)

The good news is that I did manage to “fix” the problem. I called in late for work, dropped the kids off at school, drove back home, waited for the wash machine cycle to finish, threw the darn jersey into the dryer, and eventually delivered a fresh, clean jersey to school.

The crazy part: It wasn’t picture day. I had the date wrong in my calendar!

We all had a good laugh about it, but Anna no longer trusts my planning/scheduling skills and insists on reviewing her schedule with me every morning before she jumps out of the car at school drop off.

So, really, maybe my mom fails are actually benefiting my kids.

At this rate, they should be self-sufficient before high school.



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