What with Mother's Day fast approaching, I've taken to observing just how my particular mothering mission is going as of late. It is, without a doubt, the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Motherhood, I mean. But I've noticed that the job changes a bit over time and morphs into different shapes as the years pass. I find I'm at an interesting place right now as a parent of teens.
I've likened parenting, in my mind recently, to working with a rock band. In the early years, we're the manager. We book the gigs (aka: playdates, lessons, etc.), we direct the costuming choices, we advise them on what kind of album their audience would like and make sure they have the best producers working on their behalf. By the time they're teenagers though, a transition has occurred behind the scenes.
Turns out the band suddenly decided to try managing itself and, whether or not we agree or were prepared for this move, we still want to be a part of the show. We love this band and would do anything for them, of course. So we accept the job of roadie. Now our job is to switch out guitars during performances, handle sound checks, tape down chords so no one trips over anything while they belt out their hits and then pack it all up on the bus for the next stop. We stay in the dark, unlit corners of the stage while the lights shine down on the performers. But we're always there for them, waiting for their call, wearing rolls of duct tape around our waist and proudly sporting a t-shirt from the band's last tour.
Recently, my role as mom/roadie has caused me to spend more money on hospital-grade gauze pads and a variety of antibacterial creams and sprays than I did on three nights of dinner this week. You see, JD has taken to longboarding as of late. It's all the rage. Anyway, as much as we'd like to refuse to let him fly down streets on a surfboard with wheels, Geoff and I let him do it. With a lot of rules. But while I won't deny him this adventure, I will make darn sure I can care for him should the asphalt get a little too close to his precious skin. He is, at this point, 10% scab. Squirting some Polysporin and taping a yard of gauze around his forearm makes me feel like I'm helping out and have a place to shine. And kind of makes me gag a little too.
With Eliza, it's girl stuff right now. She isn't a carbon copy of me, thank God. I love her strength and independence. But, when I hear her talking to friends, I get the sense she'd like to know more about things like makeup, what to wear, and hairstyles that don't include a messy bun. I want to help my baby, of course, but passing this info along to her as her mother is a recipe for disaster. I don't know much about that stuff in the first place and getting style advice from your mom (no matter how cool she may think she is, ahem) is less than inspiring. So, I found a wingman for the job in Youtube. I now casually refer her to videos from Seventeen magazine's Youtube channel, then occasionally purchase a few of the items used in said videos. I'm helping her, but not in a 'Follow me!' kind of way. I'm just here to make both useful information and tinted moisturizers readily available.
I'm certainly not perfect in the role of roadie and not always happy about my morphing responsibilities. I liked managing the band, to be honest. But, I love my kids with all my heart and I'm doing my best to accept my shifting control. My duties may alter from time to time, but what doesn't change is the overwhelming love I have for my babies and the complete feeling of gratitude I have for getting to be their mom. I'm a roadie now, but I can see I'm on my way to groupie status in the future. I'll take it. I just hope they'll at least give me a shout out in the liner notes.
I'm wearing this.
I'm having an 'at-home' day. Which means, I need to clean some stuff. So I'm going with what I consider a functional lounge look. Loose linen pants are the best for days when you think you could get by wearing pajama pants all day, but would actually like to avoid looking like you have the flu.
gratitude: light humidity, the word hyperbole, pink peonies, dinner at the kitchen table
thanks and love.