My Children: Making Me Look Bad Since 2003

Yesterday morning, in the melee of a day starting, I told my older boys to go get dressed.
Actually, it was something like…

No, we are not playing video games right now. 
Get dressed, brush your teeth and eat breakfast first.

We usually take it easy on them during the first week of summer.  It’s been a long school year.  I get it.

However, when they wake up looking for their CrackTendo, I wonder if I am raising my own personal pajama wearing, wii playing, basement dwellers. Ya’ll know how I feel about that.

You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. Love, Mom.

Lord help me love these children enough to make them want to leave me. ~Amen

I digress.

My eldest son came into the bathroom wearing an outfit that looked very much like it was chosen by salad shaker.  He chose striped shorts and his Cub Scout shirt. 
We gave up on Cub Scouts very early in the school year.  Another story I will share at some point I am sure.

I said, “What’s up with the shirt?” *cocked eyebrow*

He said, “I like it.”

And I was seconds, milliseconds even from criticizing.  I was going to point out that his outfit didn’t match in color or even category of apparel.  I was going to ask him to change, to put on something more palatable to me.

And then I saw it.  I saw just how much he loved that shirt.  I saw that he liked himself the way he was.  He felt good wearing what he had chosen.  I could see it in the way he looked down at himself.  I could see it in the way he buttoned up and smoothed down.  He was confident and sure but he must have anticipated my directives.

I took a breath.  A little non-judgemental breath.  A little who-do-you-think-you-are-breath.  I mean for goodness sakes, I’m not a cookie cutter myself.

I looked at him and in that tiny moment that came next, I said, “I like you.” and he just smiled and said, “Thanks.”

Off he went, a hot mess of a child all full of confidence, love and the power to make me look negligent for all of the good parenting I just doled out. 

Later in the day I heard this song called The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson.

It reminded me of that tiny moment I shared with my son and how we are taught to be loved, how to accept love and how to love.  Do I want my sons to find a partner who tries to coordinate his outfits?  Do I want her to change the playlist in his iPod?  Is his dream of the kind of future he wants going to be up for auction to the highest lover? 

Will there be room in my son’s lives for the dreams, goals and hobbies of a woman?  Will they want a full relationship or will they want to chop bits of her off to fit their ideal? 

This is the crap that keeps me up at night.  Will my sons be good men!?

God, I hope so.

Compromises are made between lovers but hopefully they are not at the risk of losing one member of the relationship.  I want my children to be able to love someone the way they are and vice versa. :)

I hope that when my children dress like they have no mother, I can look past the mismatching outfit to the genuine heart and say, “I like you.”

Stink eye to all the people judging my parenting skills.

Maybe my children will like themselves and their confidence will help them through the world, liked or not.

*sigh*

I love those boys.

Buttering me up with cuddles and kisses…all for a taste of my fish fry.

6 thoughts on “My Children: Making Me Look Bad Since 2003

  1. Awwww….
    I have had these moments with Anna Banana too. She comes up with some interesting outfits. But these kids of ours – look out world! (In a good way, right?!)

  2. Oh my goodness, he's got nothing on Gweny believe me! Now she's even starting to do her own hair, which has really been a test for me. There have been a couple times when I've seen people looking at what she's wearing and raise an eyebrow, and then I simply explain that she's confident in her style and I just go with it. One mom of a fourth grade girl said she admired me for letting go of that control because she can't, and to this day still picks out every outfit her 4th grader wears. It made me really sad to hear that. How is that girl going to be confident in herself if she's not even trusted/allowed to pick out her own outfits at 10 years old? Is she always going to be seeking out other peoples opinions and caving in to what everyone else is wearing or doing? I”m glad Gwenyvaer has her own style, and even if it looks a little funky sometimes, it always looks good on her because she's confident in it!

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