See that kid? I love him. And guess what? He loves me. I know this without a shadow of a doubt. He’s an amazing kid, I’m an awesome mom… all is well.
I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he finds me ridiculous. Part of this is because he is almost 16, but part of this is because – let’s face it – I am ridiculous. He and his friends make fun of the random stuff I say (“We need to get our hands on another baby!”), tease me about my love for a certain Irish band (Hudson Taylor! Whoo!), laugh at us when we “get tipsy and make fools of ourselves” at our 80s Dance Party (more on that later). He puts up with my taking tons of badly-done photos of him until he is exasperated (see photo above for example of such exasperation). He cracks up when I ask him too many questions about his day, his mood, or his love life.
But so it goes. In some ways, I would love Quinland to think of me as a respectable grown-up, one who rules with dignity, has dinner on the table at 6, and dispenses wisdom for the ages. But he is fully aware that he did not get that mythical woman for a mother. I have always told him that I have four Mom Jobs: to keep him safe, keep him healthy, teach him stuff, and love him. (When he was a preschooler, he rolled her eyes when I got to the last Job and said, “Well, you sure do that one!”) I strive to fulfill those Mom duties, though I meet with varying degrees of success at different times.
But when it comes right down to it, I think that being myself – with all my oh-so-evident flaws, in all my goofiness and absurdity – is better. He does not have the kind of respect for me that results in awe and submission, that I know, but I believe he respects who I am and what I am trying to do. We have a strong relationship based on honesty and trust, for which I will forever be grateful.
(And, really, I am a fount of wisdom… when it comes to Hudson Taylor. Go ahead – ask me anything.)