Sunday, March 28, 2010

fantabulous phrases

Unfortunately, there are times that my children's words and questions could drive me to force my pale blue 'mommy-van' off the road and over some fabulously steep cliff. As I am forced to listen to the halting and wordy speech of my children, I occasionally fantasize about raising my arms above my head, grabbing fistfuls of my PTA-mom 'do and tearing it out while singing the theme song to the "Smurfs" at the top of my lungs in an opera singer's voice. When having to hear the full and extended play-by-play of some seemingly small encounter of my daughter's replete with a variety of sighs, huge pauses and extremely intricate detail, I dissect my day, make plans and could quite possibly invent a cure for the common wart.

Although most often, I adore the conversations we have and find them endlessly thought provoking and entertaining, there are times that it is too much. Too much noise. Too much thought. Too many questions.

I need to remind myself that all too soon my sweet, loquacious little ones who are so full of wonder and amazement with the world around them will be transformed into sullen and all-knowing teenagers who quite possibly despise my very existence. They'll angrily stare out the window of my horribly uncool 'van of mininess' and attempt to devise a believeable story with which to convince their uber-hip friends that they were hatched from an egg and were, in fact, no relation of mine. Brooding over their wrathful amazement that a creature of such extreme coolness such as themselves could have been created within the walls of my loser-ish uterus, they will cease to converse with me.

So, in an attempt to remind myself of the need to enjoy the voices of my spawn, I have created a list. A list of all my favourite and loved phrases and questions that my children utter on a regular basis. When my little ones are older and hyper aware of my shortcoming as a parent/woman/human, I will refer to this list and think with fondness of the tales they once told me, the questions they asked me (when I still knew a thing or two) and the love they expressed.

  • "You're the BEST mama ever." I am aware that this is a lie, but it still feels DAMN good to hear.....

  • "I love you, Mama/Olivia/Briar." It goes without saying that I have a fondness for hearing that my children hold me in high regard. But I adore hearing my kids express their love of one another....I am hoping that this love will continue throughout their lives and that I will never watch helplessly as Liv chases Briar down the street wielding a paring knife...

  • "Can I go outside and play?" Anytime my children express a desire to be out of doors, I feel the need to do a jaunty little jig. In my mind, kids belong outside - getting mucky, playing with sticks, throwing rocks (when I'm not looking), carting around poultry, riding bikes, doing cartwheels, creating forts and fairy houses, etc.

  • "Why do _____ ?" When questioned by my kiddos about some scientific phenomenon, math equation, reading rule, etc., I am filled with joy for their desire to learn and be inquisitive. As they grow, not only do they learn and mature, so do I. It is a symbiotic relationship. Things I would have never questioned or conceived are examined and dissected. Their joy in the thrill of life around is contagious and I adore watching as they are filled with this zest for knowledge and understanding.

  • "Did you know that ____?" Like the phrase above, I enjoy hearing what the kids have learned or experienced when they are without me. I feel joy in knowing that they trust me to listen passively and fully to their observations. To find interest in their experiences. To join in their curiousity.

  • "No cake/candy/pop for me, please." Ahhhhh. I feel success in hearing my children know their limits and ability to listen to their body's signals. I am often unable to do this myself (I am known for eating an entire bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in an evening), so it is especially amazing to see my children decipher their own feelings of wellness and health.

  • "Can we have a family day today?" Yay!!!! For now, they still want to be in my presence!!!! I'll soak it up for now and hope for the best in the future....Maybe my coolness quotient will grow or they will be nerds themselves and will find all things 'dork' to be comforting and fabulous? A mother can dream, right????

I'll attempt to hold off on the self-induced alopecia, the operatic theme song singing and the cliff diving for now and enjoy all the longggggg and little things they have to tell me. For I may have many years to ruminate in silence in the future.....
P.S. Much of what I have written here is tongue-in-cheek....;)


Jackie in Southern California said... has been awhile since I have read your blog and recently was reminded on why I enjoyed it so much in the first place. I am back to checking it often.

Your post today has opened up the flood gates of memories for this mother of 5 children. The youngest now 18 years old and in the process of receiving acceptance/rejection letters from colleges. This young man was one of those incessant talkers who had something to say about everything. I am reminded of one day when he was three his Grandma and I picked him up from a morning at preschool and he talked that whole 20 minute drive home. His Grandma looked at me and asked me if he ever stopped talking. I looked at her with a smile on my face and said, "NO!". That was our routine. We got into the car together and talked, or should I say HE talked! Now this boy is off to house soon to be an empty nest. My memories there to comfort me in the quiet.

I know that sometimes you do feel like pulling your hair out...craving just a little quiet for just a few minutes. But you know that in a blink of an eye this will change. Live by your own advice and enjoy every word that is coming out of the mouths of those precious children. Before you know it you will ask them how their day was and they will say "Fine."

Jenn said...

well, this post has me thinking...
my son still calls me mommy and kisses me goodnight and says i love you every night and he is 14. but my 12 year old daughter...well, i hardly ever see her (she holes up in her room) and she almost always "forgets" to tell me goodnight.

they are good kids though. i think homeschooling makes a huge difference. it all depends on your kids' personality and all that...but all "tweens/teens" get moody and weird and stuff...but they out-grow it (it usually hits around 12, i've found and gets better by 13-14)

thank god it gets better or i'd have killed myself by now!


Andrea Renee said...

"Self-induced alopecia" - HAHAHA!!!

I know exactly what you mean - about all of it... It's so hard to listen to all of it sometimes and stay patient and interested, but thankfully they're talking to us.

Michele Neff Hernandez said...

I hope that you appreciate the news I am about to is highly unlikely that kids who have been encouraged to think, speak freely, and have been loved the way your kiddos are loved will ever be silent for long. I know, you are doing a jig right now, yes? They will probably never be silent. I kept thinking my kids would someday fall into the abyss of the teen years and stop speaking for a few minutes. Nope. They still talk, ALOT!

And we still have family night, at their request. So there is hope for that too at ages 18,17& 15!

One last thing, you are surely the best mama ever for the unique and beautiful gifts called Olivia and Briar! xo

Mel said...

How wonderful! I love reading this. We have many of these things going on here, too, and it makes me feel like a million bucks. Thank you for reminding me to pay attention.

Celebrating these wonderful (not so simple) joys.