Mother’s Day! Flowers, breakfast in bed, sweet hand drawn cards, matching Mother/ Daughter Outfits, cooperative kids posing for pictures with the flowers and their color coordinated moms!
That is not the reality with teenagers! Heck, it wasn’t even my reality with little kids. I would like to say that’s how it used to go. I’d like to say that we have the most gorgeous photos of my kids and I. But I can’t. When I became a mom, my mom gave me photo album with the most beautiful words inscribed. Something about you’re going to be a great mom, blah blah blah. I was supposed to have that gorgeous picture each year with my babies to remember our special bond through the years. Um yeah. I think I have two years. And the pictures are not that gorgeous. One kid had a snotty nose and the other was going through some weird hair thinning phase. And let’s face it; I hate all pictures of myself, so even if the kids were adorable, I’d probably still not find the picture worthy of a Mother’s Day Ad!!!
And now my kids are teenagers. Mother’s Day means no flowers, unless I remind them several times and text them the day before while they are out and about. I shudder at the thought of them making me breakfast in bed because they are far too old to be making that big a mess in the kitchen. It is no longer cute. Now I fear for their ability to actually make a meal for themselves. Plus a mixing bowl size of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch can no longer be metabolized by this over forty mom! My teen’s typical breakfast would send me into some kind of sugar crisis! And handmade cards? This generation hasn’t hand written anything since kindergarten. I might get a text or a post or a status update with my name mentioned, but I assure you, no crayon will hit paper in the house of a teenager! Oh and matching outfits? Every once in a while I’m lucky to get a, “you look OK”, WITHOUT an eye roll. And I’m pretty sure any attempts at a color coordinated outfit thing would cause great pain to my teenager. But I would never dare try!
Somewhat good news as a mom of teens on Mother’s Day; I can be guaranteed as many hours of silence in the house as I want on Mother’s Day. They will sleep until the next day if I let them. So, I can say to all the moms of little kids who wake up at crazy early hours, someday your kids will sleep in. But as much as I do not want to dash any hope you may have, the day that your preteen sleeps in late, some automatic switch gets thrown in your body, and you can no longer sleep past 7 am! You are just “done sleeping”. What the heck. I’ve been looking forward to sleeping in for so many years and now that I can, I wake up early. Like my grandmother?!?! But, mornings are generally pretty quiet and peaceful.
What I have learned through the years of failing to keep up with the Mother’s Day album is that my expectations are rarely the reality. And it turns out, the reality is what I love the most. The reality is the memories. Those early pictures with the snotty noses, crazy hair and postpartum mom body, highlight the best part of those years. I don’t remember what I wanted the picture to look like at the time. I remember what it really looked like. We weren’t that put together, we weren’t that cute, we weren’t always at our best, but the memory is a Mom with her daughters. It is me with my babies. And we survived those years as best we could. We made memories, we grew, we learned, we were bored and we were tired. Be we were a happy family. And I know for certain I will look back on the Mother’s Days when they were teenagers and find love, humor and an appreciation for this time in our life! They are moody, irritable, sometimes rude, but mostly growing up into beautiful people who will someday happily sit next to me for a picture in slightly color coordinated outfits! Not this year. But some day! Until then I will continue to see the beautiful potential. But I will also embrace the day to day messiness of life!
So on behalf of your teenagers, let me say, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You are doing an amazing job”!
Pour yourself another cup of coffee and go wake those teens!
You’ve got Mother’s Day to celebrate!!