Thursday, December 20, 2012

mom rocks

i feel like i'm having a mini epiphany lately. it involves moms.

remember when you were a teenage girl (unless you were a boy, then i hope you don't remember that) and you thought your mom was so freaking annoying and dumb? remember when you looked at her clothes or shoes or hair or car and scoffed at the absurdity that was her? do you remember thinking how massively superior you were to her?

i do. i remember wondering why she had to be so embarrassing and thinking that with myself being so utterly cool, i should have had a much cooler mother so that we could match.

i wrote rude things about her in my diary. some days i was sure that my destiny would take me on a much more epic journey in life than hers had.

i was very foolish.

in the past few years, i've been realizing that my mom looks fantastic. she's fashionable and always fixed and looking good when she goes anywhere. she's thin and in shape and gets hit on by men all the time because, dang, you don't see a woman in her 60's looking like that very often.

my mom does interesting and lively things like climb trees with the grandkids and even hangs upside down from a branch from time to time. she takes mission trips around the globe because her faith is important to her and she lives it out in her life every day. she has girlfriends who she exercises, parties, and lunches with. she takes care of people who are sick or old or injured. she reads and writes and works out while still taking care of her family at home.

when i look at pictures of my mom before she had kids, i see a foxy lady. she wore super short mini skirts and even some crocheted hot pants she made for herself in her early twenties. and she didn't just wear them, she rocked them!

so where did that lady go while i was growing up? how could i not see the hot chick while i was busy considering myself to be a hot chick?

i finally realized that she was still there, but she was too busy taking care of me to take care of herself. she had four kids and a busy life filled with good things, but very few of them involved doing things for herself just because she wanted to do them. she didn't spend money to buy nice clothes for herself because she was spending it all to keep her children dressed and fed. she didn't bother much with makeup because she didn't have enough time for such things with so many other more important things on her plate.

for a few years i've been joking that my mom has a reverse aging gene going on, making her look younger as she ages. maybe that's not it though. maybe my eyes are just learning how to see her finally. maybe i'm just discovering that the phase of a mom's life where she's taking care of her young family isn't who she is. it's just a period of time, a step on her ladder of life.

mom, i'm thankful for you. you've set an amazing example for me all my life. i'm sorry for all the times i made fun of your clothes or shoes. i hope someday brooke will appreciate me as much as i appreciate you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

a ranch filled with bunnies

once again, i'm in the process of figuring out Brooke. she's definitely growing up and showing signs of entering into the next phase of kid-hood. as soon as i think i've got things under control, she up and changes the game and i've got to work out a whole new set of rules.

she had a sleepover recently and the girls who were here brought nail polish. brooke has always shunned nail polish and won't ever cave to my desire to paint her nails, even if i offer her bribes. but guess what - she painted her own nails! granted, it was clear paint that glows in the dark, but still, she painted her nails. that's new territory.

she has decided that i'm no longer free to read her journal. previously she's always welcomed and encouraged me to read it and check out her drawings. no more. i'm pretty sure she's writing mean things about me. that's okay. i wrote mean things about my mom too, and it doesn't at all affect my feelings for her now.

last week i was trying to figure out what top i could wear with a pair of pretty chocolately brown dress pants that i inherited and hemmed so that they fit perfectly. i was struggling because i'm not very good at fashion unless it's really obvious and simple. brooke saw me struggling and decided to help me make an outfit. she went to google and pulled up a picture of a color wheel that included browns and from there decided which colors were most complimentary to my pants. then she went to my closet and made some suggestions, leading me to pick a shirt that looks great with them. who'd have guessed that a clueless fashion girl could help her clueless fashion mom by using the color wheel that i'd taught her about recently during an art class on contrasting colors.

we're also still working on acceptable words. it's hard for me to limit her vocabulary on words that i say. i never swear around her, but the words crap and suck are common place around here. however, some of her friends parents are less than thrilled to have her teaching such words to their own kids. i want to increase her chances of having good friendships, so we're working on that.

i'm also finding myself needing to teach her bad words. she would never use truly bad ones intentionally if she knows they're bad, but she's great at deciphering the right way to say something even if she's not clear on the exact meaning. she told me once, "don't be a pussy, mom." i had to explain that one and she was pretty embarrassed. thankfully she said it only to me and she thought she was just calling me a scaredy cat.

we watched an animal planet show recently that showed some dude who was raising tigers on his property. he was a total dunce who liked to walk them on leashes even when they were too big to be handled and could easily kill him with a quick swipe or bite. he gets famous people who like to live dangerously who come and visit his tigers, including heidi flys (spelled wrong intentionally), the madam who runs the bunny ranch prostitution ring. her name was written on screen and under it the words "Bunny Ranch Owner" and brooke latched right onto that. "ooh, mom, a bunny ranch! that must be such a cool place! i want to work on a bunny ranch someday."

i was left with the dilemma of deciding if i should let it fly right over her head or if i should correct her and set her straight to avoid her possibly telling someone at church (or the grocery store or anywhere else) that someday she wants to work at the bunny ranch. she'd be mortified later if that happened. i don't believe in telling kids not to say or do something without giving them an honest answer for why. i hate the mystery and intrigue that creates and with a kid like Brooke, if i didn't give a satisfactory answer, she's likely to google it and get way more than either of us bargained before.

so of course i told her what the bunny ranch was. yet again i was oversharing with my child in an attempt to save her from potential future embarrassment.

as we cross over into the place in life where there are rarely howling, head-banging, skin-scratching episodes, we've come to a place of too much information and uncomfortable conversations. i don't know if i'm doing it right, but i'm doing the best i can. she made me a christmas present, so i must be doing something right.