Friday, February 1, 2013
In Praise of Moms
Seriously? Seriously. How in the hell did my mom do this shit? I have been staying at home for almost four years now and I can honestly say any parent that stays home is a warrior whether it be man or woman. I understand now why there are so many posts about drinking bottles of wine at book club. I get why once your little dragons are put to bed that the Good Knight just passes out after a beer. So thanks to my mom and all the moms that are staying at home. We hear you and we, as dads, are glad to be with you. So here's my post celebrating moms and it's not even Mother's Day!
I have talked a lot on my blog about my dad but now I need to give much credit to my mom for shaping me into the stay at home dad I have become. All that training she gave my brother and I with "To Do" lists except for painting the inside of the garage door, which was clearly a time killer to keep me out of trouble. My kids are wonderful but it has been a lot of hard work. Good thing I have a lot of patience. Thanks Mom, I must have gotten that from you. No offense Dad, but Mom just has this magical way she can keep my kids engaged in an activity for hours. I guess I learned from the best. So, when I think about all the things that drive me a little bananas about staying at home I felt like I needed to revisit how I annoyed you.
It's a thankless job sometimes. You literally get shit on. Your employees are often disgruntled. I spend a lot of time cajoling and barking orders. To my mom, I have to say I am sorry. I remember running away from you when you were supposed to be taking me to swim practice. I am sorry I made you chase me around the dining room table but swimming wasn't fun. I still don't like to get my face wet.
The teenagers "teaching" us to swim were much more interested in hooking up with the girls that were there and I can remember on a few occasions "Should I really trust this 18 year old douche taking his eyes off me while he tried to score some tail?" Wasn't someone supposed to be life guarding? Dear YMCA instructors for my kids, people in my family naturally sink, so let's keep your peepers on the pool. This is the reason I watch swim lessons like a peregrine falcon. I am prepared to jump in with my clothes on if necessary even if I don't have my scuba mask. I never did learn how to breathe through my nose, open my eyes underwater, or dive. What the heck did we pay for anyway?
Thanks again Mom for not killing me when I drew an entire mural all over your hallway and overlooking my tags of V.I.C. all over the house. I have cleaned up a variety of things, many of them unidentifiable; some of which I had to put my nose down to fairly close to confirm my suspicions. Crayon is not easy to clean up, at least before the invention of Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser which I am guessing is some sort of napalm which has been sufficiently stabilized for human use. Thanks to Mrs. Cote who kept my mom's rage in check. I DID become an artist so it happened for a reason, but you saved my ass.
Thank you for making me take those art lessons in the summer when all my other friends were outside playing. I really do remember them fondly even if I didn't at the time. Once again, you were right. I am a good artist because of it and that's why I became an art teacher.
Mom, sorry for the loud music. I apologize for the Guns N Roses "Lies" tape that you confiscated from me. It was awesome in my Walkman but when you took it from me and played it in our conversion van for everyone to hear, "I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Kill Her" was probably the worst possible song to be queued up. I realize it wasn't appropriate so thanks for teaching me a lesson. I also apologize for playing Killing In The Name by RATM when you asked me to do a chore, that was uncalled for.
Mom, thanks for taking me to all those cool places when I was a kid. Your adventures with my brother and I have left a lasting impression. Except for the Circus Museum. That clown really freaked me out and to this day, I am terrified of clowns.
Thanks for taking me on awesome vacations. Travelling with kids sucks. Once they go to bed there is nothing to do and you are stuck staring at each other so thanks. As much as I probably barfed from being carsick it was fun sitting in the back of the station wagon with my little bro playing electronic football and doing those puzzles with the yellow pens that you buy at the rest stops.
Thanks for cleaning the house and teaching me how to do it too. Blasting the Anne Murray and Kenny Rogers on a Saturday morning might have annoyed me then but it taught me that everyone pitches in and my kids have learned this too. I still hate cleaning the bathroom and can only imagine that with four sons, the toilets must have regularly looked like a Porta Potty. Sorry.
Thanks for always having food in the house and on the table for dinner. There is nothing more stressful than answering "What's for dinner?" every single day. My kids are only little so I can only imagine what it was like to feed four hungry boys who could pack it away. I mean, when I was going through my husky phase, I don't know how you kept the pantry stocked, but you are a freaking genius. Sarah and Heidi polished off 18 hot dogs in one week. I maybe had two. And, that's when they like something. I apologize for making a sour face when you fed us meat. I get it now, it's delicious and I learned that you just have to serve it anyway because you can't eat SOS every day and although Dad survived on Grilled Breaders, that's just not going to cut it with my cheese eating monsters.
Let's not forget who got us where we are today. Thanks to my mom for putting up with my crap. Thanks to all the stay at home parents putting up with your kid's crap. Maybe someday you will get a letter from them letting you know how they felt. For now, keep your head down, the kids in line, and the minivan running because it's going to continue to be a wild ride.