I sometimes dream of the day when my kids are older and home from college gathered around the kitchen table making fun of me. I know it sounds crazy, but the thought of them teasing me about the things I did when they were growing up fills me with warmth on days when I wonder if I’m doing it all wrong.
I feel like, in my adult life, the people who have great relationships with their parents all have moments where they look back at their childhood and feel such love for their parents that it’s completely safe to tease about their upbringing. I can almost hear The Baby talking about “Mean Bedtime Mom” the way we talked about our mom being useless if you were sick in the middle of the night. Somehow, being able to point out these regular human reactions is a sign that you really think the person did a very non-regular job of raising you. I think my mom’s a superhero mostly, so it was somehow comforting to be able tease her about the very few ways she was just plain limited. I know it sounds perverse, but there is an understood respect in a little parental teasing.
So, yesterday on my way home from a very long day of Mom Taxi I got a little taste of the future. I was the kind of giddy that comes from near exhaustion so I just plain let loose with my regular personality and let go of all mom pretense. I was belting out some awesome 80’s Light Rock (ahem, Wham!) when I got super carried away with my rendition of Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now from that fine Kim Cattrall Cinematic Tour de Force “Mannequin”.
I was in full seventh grade glory with hand motions and my best falsetto when I heard The Girl murmuring in the back seat. I realized she was rubbing the arm of her baby brother and whispering in her best soothing voice, “it’s alright, I’m here. I’ll take care of you when mom goes crazy.” She was seriously watching me lose my mind with her wide eyes and trying to reassure her brothers that it would all be alright. Just don’t poke the crazy bear.
Now that’s respect.
C’mon, you know you want to press play!
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