I had a good run as a cool mom.
Seven years of being cool in the eyes of my son.
Now I am officially embarrassing.
The news came as a shock: I was not welcome to join him on this week’s field trip. It turns out I “kiss [him] too much” in front of other people. In conjunction with my kissing addiction I also “hug [him] too long.” It is true that when I see him I find it next to impossible to control my affection, but I assured him that if I accompanied his class to the zoo I would be on my best behavior. No kissing, no hugging. Just to show I am super cool and laid back, I will totally pretend like I barely know him. (Me: Hey, kid. Do I know you? No, no…you’re a total stranger. ‘Sup Dude? Him: Mom, I know you’re gonna try to kiss me. ) Dang it! He’s right, I have no self-control.
This snuck up on me. I was fully prepared to be an embarrassment one day…but wasn’t this too soon? I was holding out for a few more good years of coolness. Honestly, I should have seen it coming – there were signs. First, no kiss goodbye in carline (as if anyone can even see into our car!). Then, no holding hands as we strolled through stores. All leading up to the nail in the coffin: wanting me to sit out on field trip day.
If you listen carefully, you will hear the wind as it whistles through the tear in my heart. That is, if you can hear anything over the sound of my sobbing. You probably can’t, I’m a pretty loud sobber.
This is not a post that will end with a lesson I learned or something important I gleaned about parenting. I won’t tell you that this has taught me to accept the stages of growing children with stride. I will not be encouraging you to find the beauty in allowing your son to discover his emerging independence. Nope. I am going to tell you to fight.
Fight like hell to stay cool.
Fight for all of the hugs and kisses and hand holding.
Fight to linger longer in every snuggling sesh.
Fight to keep them babies just a little bit longer.
Because if you don’t, you are going to find yourself watching Steel Magnolias as an excuse to work up an ugly cry. You will be sitting on your couch -tissue in one hand, ice cream in the other – and you will curse the days you didn’t fight. You will look yourself in the mirror -mascara running down your face, dried ice cream mustache over your lip – and your reflection will look way more embarrassing than cool. Then you will shave your head. No, no…you won’t go that far. You’re just embarrassing, you’re not crazy!
Then you will have an epiphany. You will decide to embrace your embarrassing persona. You will vow to show your son just what embarrassing looks like (wearing afro wigs to school plays, showing up in a clown suit to football practice, singing at the top of your lungs when his friends are over). If he thought hugs and kisses caused blushing, just wait until mom brings out the big guns. Embarrassing mom? Challenge accepted.