Tag Archives: adolescence

Forever & Always: an 80s Kinda Gal

16

 

I have to admit (though if my kids were to miraculously start reading my blog I’d feign dementia) that as hip as I am (that’s right) I am, at times, well, a little lame. In fact, I’m actually all sorts of lame for a variety of reasons.

 

For starters, I totally fake my way through the French words in “Lady Marmalade.”  I know….seriously.   (Hypocrite lame?)

 

I am vain to a fault, having worn lipstick through four childbirths (a subtle mauve) and also popped every blood vessel in my eyes because I made sure my contacts were in, too. (Insecure lame?)

 

I have never seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”   (Uncool lame?)

 

I think tattoos are a really bad idea on most body parts (unless you’re planning on being perpetually nineteen and skinny … then I stand corrected).   (Judgemental — or jealous — lame?)

 

I can’t text without using proper punctuation (naturally it takes me five times longer because finding the apostrophes is always troublesome).  (Grammar Nazi lame?)

 

I loathe baking.  The only reason I even own a rolling pin is because one holiday season a neighbor creatively attached one to an invitation to a cookie swap and stuck it in my mailbox (of course prompting my immediate response What the hell is a cookie swap?)  (Lazy lame?)

 

But perhaps my lamest admission is that I really (really) heart the 80s. (Aqua Net lame?)  I spent my adolescence, my college years and my Melanie-Griffith-Working-Girl stage in that decade so who can blame me?  John Hughes movies, white zinfandel pinkish-pretend wine,  grocery shopping in track suits … (oh wait, maybe that last thing was just Long Island …).  It was just a funny time – so big and brash and booming.   The best.

 

Lately my friend Theresa and I have been debating the Worst. Song. Ever.  Whenever we think of one we text it to each other (properly punctuated on my end).  So, while I’m sitting at the Macaroni Grill and my phone beeps, I’ll look down and all I’ll see is “Raspberry Beret.”

 

I crack up.

 

And when she’s waiting at a practice field, her phone lights up and displays “99 Luftballoons.”

 

It’s been going on for a couple of months now and I’ve just realized that all of the songs we’ve been using are 80s tunes.

 

“Eye of the Tiger”

 

“China Girl”

 

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (my God, I think I just threw up a little in mouth just typing that one)

 

“(I’m Only) Human” (man, I hate that one)

 

“Shy, Shy” (funny:  just texting the name Kajagoogoo alone is worth sending…)

 

Still good stuff.

 

Just some really (really) lame music.

 

And it was all played a couple of weeks ago at my high school reunion (I can’t even begin to go there yet because I’m still processing the visuals from it).

 

Maybe soon though.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –

 

About A(nother) Boy

Potts_12

What?   You want to know about my kid — your student?  Pffft.   You don’t have to ask twice.

I’ve been waiting for this homework assignment.  And — since I already bared all about the other kid in a previous post — parenting rule #16 dictates I must now provide equal billing here.

When asked to “Tell About My Scholar” in a million words or less, here’s what I said to enlighten my son’s seventh grade math teacher:

 

Now that we’re a couple of weeks into the school year, it is likely Trevor has already charmed you.  I am here to explain why.

Sure, there are the usual reasons:  Affable?  Compassionate?  Kind?  Check, check, check.  But his natural tendency to be an all-around nice kid comes from a darker place.  He’s actually making up for lost time.  The truth is, he spent the first two years of his life crying miserably and awoke from every slumber angry and screaming and ready to rumble.  No one ever knew why.   It was almost as if he knew from the start he’d have an uphill battle for attention as the youngest of four children and wanted to make sure we all knew he was around.  He’s been working that playbook ever since.

Even today when he fights with his siblings, he is the loudest. It’s actually kind of amusing.  For certain you will witness none of this ridiculous behavior in your classroom, because he is the middle school Clark Kent of secret personas.

So yes, he’s a super awesome kid but he carries around this deep dark secret.  It’s true; we have proof (ask him to tell you about  “the picture” that one of his teachers kept on her desk for a while last year).  I just felt you should know.   If you ever have a student in need of a friend, Trevor’s your man.  If there’s a task you need help with, he’ll be the first to offer.  And unlike his brothers that came before him, he actually tells us about his school day.  We’ll hear all the good, the bad, and the ugly algebraic equations that are kicking his tail (again, this constant chatter at home is  simply a constant reminder that he is, well, around.  Nothing more).

According to his stats, he is presently the only breathing middle schooler without a smartphone.   If he doesn’t do well in your class , he knows this sad, sad statistic will not change for him.  I imagine because of this he’ll work extremely hard in your class.   (Fun fact:   he did get a perfect score on his third grade Math MCAS … this keeps him on the Scholastic Leaderboard of Competition we keep on our kids but  hello, third grade? — this star is losing its luster and he knows it).

I hope you enjoy Trevor as much as we do (you know, on his good days).  He’s got a great sense of humor and a winning disposition.  He’s one of our favorites but we’ll never, ever tell.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook.

 

About a Boy

about a boy

 

I had a pretty awesome “homework” assignment last night.  One of my son’s teachers asked for an essay – “in a million words or less” –  describing our child, our “scholar.”  This was a seventh grade Math teacher and it struck me as brilliant for a couple of reasons.

First off, it’s seventh grade Math.  Yawwwwwn.  How much compelling personal interaction could possibly go down in a typical math class?  In a 43-minute Algebra lesson with so much material and so many learning types to master, could there ever be any time for group anecdotes about weekend cookouts or opinions of the latest Adam Sandler movie?  Mmmmm, doubtful.
Second, this particular son of mine is that kid – the fairly quiet student who laughs at the class clowns, and perhaps secretly strives to be one.  I have no doubt his teachers don’t get an inkling of his true personality until after Christmas break.
So she wanted to know who her students are and blew right past the requisite fill out this questionnaire routine.  Another hidden agenda of brilliance:  how telling to hear the actual voices of parents.  Who’s a braggart… who’s a worry-wart… who’s incapable of decoding their, they’re and there?  I just thought it was great.
So off I went and had some fun.  I just hope he had the kahunas to hand it in.  It’s (naturally) extra-credit and we recently had checked off our “You-will-do-any-and-every-extra-credit-offered-to-you-because-you’re-a-dummy-if-you-don’t” discussion.  We’ll see.
I hope his Math teacher has a sense of humor.  Here it is:

 

There’s a lot you should know about my scholar Luke …..although much of it would make him turn six shades of crimson and want to crawl into his desk….

That little conundrum leaves me with little to reveal.

I guess he wouldn’t mind if I told you that I believe he’s a sharp lil’ whippersnapper, with his Mom’s love of humor and his Dad’s love of sports (because to Luke, ESPN really stands for Every Sport Possible No-lie-will-be-watched-on-every-television-set-at-all-times).

Luke won’t give you any trouble and certainly won’t be to blame for any nonsense that might arise within your classroom (because anything that happens will likely be his younger brother’s fault.  Really.  Go ahead, ask him.)
My scholar is a reflective kid, usually just observing the world around him, taking it all in, and keeping a lot of notes.   He “gets” it.

 

He knows the words to every song on the radio.

 

Won’t talk to his mother about girls.

 

And is extremely well-liked (and that’s not just his mom talking).

 

(Caution: Do not tell him this.  He already thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips, so in this house, we try to keep the compliments to a minimum.)
In general, I think you will thoroughly enjoy having him in your class.  We kinda like having him around here, too.  Especially on the days when he showers – then he smells realllllllllllll nice.  (Actually, if I’m being truthful, I guess I have to mention that he showers every day.  That’s a good thing for 7thgraders, right?  In fact, he showers so much that he’s almost at the 40-minute-shower stage of adolescence that starts peeling paint off the walls.  So, he’s right on track.  It’s all good.)

He’ll stay under your radar ….

….. and chuckle at the jokes that go over everyone else’s heads…….

 

Have fun with our scholar – we certainly do.

 

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook.

College Bound: Gone Like a Freight Train

college bound

 

“She

(we gave her most of our lives)

Is leaving

(sacrificed most of our lives)

home.”

The Beatles

 

 

“She’s gone, I’d better learn how to face it.

She’s gone, I’d pay the devil to replace her.”

Hall and Oates

 

 

“Gone like a freight train.”

Montgomery Gentry

 

 

 

 

The girl has left the building.

 

Off to her tenth floor dorm room in the most congested section of her rolling and rural D1 campus.  There might be more occupants on her floor than were in her graduating class.

 

She is stoked, on her way to change the world and no one – no one – who knows her is surprised.

 

She spent her last summer here like a ghost.  Working around the clock with her three jobs, I’d sometimes go a couple of days with only the smell of her shampoo whizzing past me.

 

She was a blur.

 

Looking back I realize it was probably the world’s cosmic balance that did this, forcing me to get used to her not being around.

 

She’s been restless on her journey out of adolescence and that restlessness had been swelling at a NASCAR pace.  By the time the last of the graduation party fire pits had smoldered she was done with her insignificant, small town.

 

I get that (she is her mother’s daughter after all).

 

I waited a couple days after we dropped her off before venturing into her room.  To be completely honest, I could’ve gone in with a steam cleaner or a backhoe (cue in knowing nod from every mother of a teenage daughter).   It was baaaaaad.   I had bitten my tongue the last few weeks of summer because I just wanted a nice, argument-free send off.  It was stressful enough just getting to departure day so I let the room go into zombie apocalypse/Area 51 locale.

 

Still, as the hours ticked away on her final night at home, I could tell her anxiety was revving — as witnessed by the psychotic and shrill “WHERE’S MY INSURANCE CARD????   (and then, ten minutes later, barely audible), Oh, here it is…”

 

That happened a few times.

 

 

She left in a breathless whir of excitement and anticipation for a new chapter and it was everything the books say it should be:  melancholy, bittersweet, and (far be it for me to lie) a little bit of can’t-wait on both of our behalves.

 

I sent my oldest son off to the Air Force Reserves a couple of years ago so this certainly isn’t my first rodeo of shipping a kid off.  With him it was different, though.  Where she is restless, he was reckless.  Seriously, I never slept so well as the day he was safely nestled in boot camp (cue in knowing nod of every mom of a reckless teenage boy).  So I know a thing or two about missing my kids.

 

I find myself being so genuinely excited for her I don’t miss her as painfully as I thought I would.  She checks in often enough (way more than she did while she was here full time) she’s providing more detail about her experiences than even asked for, and basking in the pretend-grown-up-lifestyle that she’s been so desperately craving.  (To be clear, I am fully aware this will come back to kick me in the arse when she returns for winter and summer breaks.  I know the Rules?  What is this notion of rules you speak of?  litigation is percolating.  For sure, good times are a-comin’…

 

So while she’s gone I will wait patiently for her next call or text, and savor each tiny daily victory that finds me NOT rushing around like a madwoman each morning looking for my comb … or cream … or mascara … or beige sandals with the cork heels (why look for them when they are without question in her dorm room?).

 

 

For the time being there are no wet towels on her floor.

 

… yet I don’t have anyone to watch “Rock of Ages” with each and every time I find it on cable.

 

… and my heart feels a little pinging sensation when I realize – with surprising sadness – that I don’t have to special order a vegetarian dish when we order take-out.

 

… and I am decidedly NOT smelling expensive shampoo so much (Old Spice and Axe, yes.  Herbal Essence?  Nope.)

 

 

 

But I know she is only gone for a while.

 

And I miss her.  A lot.

 

 

As I was wrapping up this piece another text from her came through which read simply,

 

“I miss you guys.”

 

 

 

See that?

 

Maybe all that Lunatic-Fringe-Psycho-Mom-Get-Me-Outta-Here stuff isn’t brimming on the surface anymore.

 

Maybe she heard an 80s song from “Rock of Ages” and thought of me.

 

Maybe after getting my picture text, she’s a little excited to sleep in her clean room at Thanksgiving.

 

 

No matter the reason.  You know I’m saving the text.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

 

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

You Should Never Argue with a Crazy Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma, You Ought to Know By Now…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

I had four kids in seven years and right about now’s the time when that little stroke of brilliant timing (or lack thereof) is kicking me in the ass.   My youngest is 13 (I just watched him eat twice since dinner ended.  No.  Wait.  He here comes again…) and my oldest will be 21 in a few weeks (he believes that anything in the ballpark of that number gives him the green light to crack open beers in his room. Then throw the empties under his bed.  Yeah.  I may be down to three kids soon.  I  digress…).  Throw in a 15-year-old (who spends more time grooming himself than his five family members combined) and a free-your-mind, what’s-the-big-deal, 19-year-old college sophomore (who has yet to meet a house rule that “makes sense” to her) and you can see why I’ve gotten a bit testy this summer.

 

In a nutshell, I’ve got a crew of kids coming and going at all hours, eating incessantly and displaying less-than-favorable teenage behavior, all while leaving a trail of clothes-dishes-wrappers-towels-slop in their wake.  It’s making me see a shade of red which far surpasses the sunburn on my side boob (because really, isn’t there always that one spot you miss?).

 

Eventually though, somewhere in the dog days of summer (like now), when I have tripped over my final straw of strewn sneakers, my testiness turns into rage.

 

When my good nature is taken advantage of – I won’t sugarcoat – I get pissed.  I start to reflect on the good life I provide for them.  Then I think about all the cooking and cleaning I do, as if I’m running on some sort of masochistic hamster wheel.  Then I begin to fixate on all the things they don’t do (if only that damn dog didn’t don his invisibility fur all summer maybe, just maybe they would know he’s here!).  Then, finally, when I realize my simple house rules are broken to the point of parental ridicule, well then I become incensed.

 

Psycho Mom used to make an appearance during times like these.  She’d rant and rave and carry on like a crazy woman and take away electronics and ground any kid in her peripheral and maybe in time she’d regain control for a little while longer. These tactics still work for the teens; I’ve duly hidden my boys’ X-box until their summer reading is finished and one kid’s already lost his phone for the entire summer for being a dum-dum.  But as kids become older sometimes the game rules have to change.  If you’re raising your young adults like I am (see my 5 tips from an earlier post), your kids are already making financial contributions to your household.   It’s hard to ground a kid who’s driving around in his own car that’s insured by his own dollars.  Tricky indeed.

 

So now Ball-Buster Mom pops by instead to take over the disciplinary reins.  Example:

 

My husband and I recently took our two youngest away for the weekend, leaving the two young adults at home to proceed with their employment obligations, take care of the invisible dog and well, act like responsible young adults.  Left behind with them was a litany of clear (VERY clear) instructions and expectations.

About that…

 

I won’t bore with the details (hell, I’ve already been to this rodeo and have written about it here) but let’s just say that within six seconds of entering my home upon our return, the young adults were busted.

 

Friends staying over without our knowledge, approval or consent?  Check.  Partying like it was 1999?  (Despite your insistence to the contrary, that one little bottle cap under the toaster oven screams otherwise, so…again) Check.

 

 

So the guilty were charged accordingly.  Since they both used my home like a hotel room, they were each made to ante up the cost of one: $125 a piece.

 

As a receipt for their weekend play, they were given full disclosure and sage advice:  Should it ever happen again they’d likely be charged quadruple that amount and would find themselves on the needy side of some pretty hefty finances.  Last I checked, those student loans had co-signers on them.  Just sayin’.

 

 

So Ball-Buster Mom made $250.

 

She’s probably going to put it aside and use it to get to Long Island in September when her high school reunion takes place.  Then she’ll tell everyone this story and yuk it up with all her old friends who did the exact same thing back in the day.

 

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular, 1984” first on her list of achievements.  She takes on cyberspace @Eyerollingmom  and Eyerollingmom.

Keeping the Peace: 5 Things Your High School Graduate Needs to Hear

Teenagers hands playing tug-of-war with used rope

 

 

Nothing screams middle age like having high school graduates for kids.  And nothing screams may-not-make-it-to-old-age like the arguments that ensue with these kids once they’ve tossed a tasseled mortarboard into the air.  If you have the pleasure of living with young adults under your roof, pour a glass and make sure there’s ink in your printer.  Remember seeing your mom’s yellowed Dear Abby column taped to the fridge?  You may want to start up that tradition.

 

If living harmoniously is your goal, then without question, these 5 things need to be said to your young adult:

 

 

You will contribute financially to this household.

You can call it rent, or room and board or even living fees.  But the truth is, something’s got to get coughed up each week and it has little to do with the obvious fact that everything increases with every warm body that is planted in a home.  Food, water, electric, cable, everything.  That’s a no-brainer.  The more important reason for pitching into the household is because you should, that’s why.   If you’re not working hard enough to fork over money each week, then you’re not working hard enough.  Period.  Throw in a few home cooked meals and access to laundry and you’d be up a creek if you had to REALLY pay for all this stuff outside of this home.  Be happy to hand over a minimal yet reasonable amount.  You don’t see it now but this absurd and unfair demand is building character and an appreciation for what things cost, of which you truly have no idea.

 

This is my house, therefore it is MY bedroom.  You get to sleep in it.

You are welcome to enjoy continued privacy in this space that is covered under my mortgage payment, so long as you respect this space.  Foul smells coming out of it render your privacy null and void.  The detection of wet towels, food items or ANY suspicion of conduct unbecoming also nullifies the terms of your privacy.

 

We are your family, not your room mates.

Picking up after yourself is a sign of respect for those who live among you.  Not doing so is a blatant sign of immaturity which indicates you simply do not understand this.  No one wants to see hairs in a sink, step on toenail clippings or find food, utensils, blood, body parts or schmegma in the bathroom.  If people can figure out what you’ve eaten for breakfast based on the remains left on the kitchen counter, you are being rude. The maid is far too busy pruning the money tree out back.  Put stuff away and get rid of your own mess. Common courtesy, that’s all.

 

Rules are in place for respect, not ridicule.

We get it.  We were there once, too.  You’re not the first kid to return from college only to shriek about all the humiliating injustices of your parents.  But if you’ve been given a curfew, it’s likely because you’ve given us reason to give one.  If you’ve been given limits on the car you’re driving, the same holds true.  The easiest fix for this is to start doing what’s requested of you, understand the importance of proving your maturity through actions over words and earn OUR respect.  Want to come and go at your own leisure? Simply buy your own car and pay your own insurance.

 

 

Being over 18 doesn’t make you a grown up. 

Please.  Stop stomping your feet, diploma in hand, and screaming that you’re an adult now.  It only makes us giggle.  The only thing you’ve accomplished to date is getting through high school.  Big whoop.  It’s the 21st century, filled with technology that practically reads the books for you.  You’re supposed to finish high school.   Whatever path you’re on right now doesn’t detract from the reality that you are presently living with your mommy and daddy and you will not – cannot – be considered a grown up under these amusing circumstances.  Until you are financially independent you are decidedly NOT a grown up.   Don’t be mad.  Don’t sulk.  And don’t ever be foolish enough to think the grass is greener elsewhere.  I defy you to find a living situation better than here (yet if you do, I will most certainly help you pack your things).     My motivation is solely love.  I am doing my part in preparing you to be a good wife, mother, or husband, a stellar employee, an upstanding citizen or an under-the-radar inmate.

You.  Are.  Welcome.

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

 

.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore)   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –

When it Comes to this Mothering Thing, Who’s Better at it: You or Your Mom?

okay mom

I never talked back to my parents.  Yet my own kids talk back to me. A lot.

 

My children also raise their voices to me when they’re angry. Think back: would you ever?

 

Worse still, I often have to tell my spawn to do something multiple times — multiple times —because my continuous requests are repeatedly ignored.  Can you even imagine?

 

As another Mother’s Day approaches I can’t help but reflect on how remarkably different I parent than my mother did.  When I dig deep I have to admit:  there are times I feel completely overrun by the people in my home that are less than half my age.  I don’t think my own mother ever felt that way one day of her life.  In fact, she wouldn’t put up with one minute of what I tolerate from my children.

 

Does that make me a worse mom than her?

 

In all fairness I should throw it out there that my kids are not rotten.  Not in the least.  And never have been.  They were never the tantrum-throwing toddlers in the restaurant, or the give-a-pinch-when-a-grown-up’s-not-looking schoolyard brat or the current topic of conversation in the teachers’ lunchroom (didn’t know about that? oops, spillin’ secrets here).  They happen to be the epitome of respectful individuals when out in the real world and are quite well liked.  Actually, if I’m being completely honest I’d have to say they are, in fact, fairly boast-worthy children.

 

So why do they shit on me?

 

Usually after a particularly bad display of disrespect from one (or two, or three, or all four) of our kids, my husband and I will have conversations about this, scratching our heads (okay, maybe while downing beers).  We question how in the world we got to be parents of children who easily display behavior that would’ve resulted in a swift backhand from any – and all – of our own parents.

 

We think back and remember the fear in our homes and the physical repercussions of any type of conduct unbecoming.  It certainly wasn’t unusual back then.  Actually, it was very, very typical.  We all did what we were told – the first time – because it far surpassed the alternative of NOT doing so.

 

But there is no fear in my own home today.  There is no apprehension for questioning or stating opinion or disagreeing.  It gets loud, sure, and at times inappropriate, but no one’s ever hesitant about speaking up.

 

There are other blatant differences in my home now that speak volumes to how very different my parenting style is from my mom’s.

 

For instance, my kids talk to me way more than I ever talked to my mother at their ages – about cringe-worthy topics that would zap the frost straight out of my mom’s bouffant.  Eighth grade girls doing decidedly un-eighth grade things in the way back of a bus on a school trip?  Sixth grade classmates experimenting with drugs?  You name it.  Details are anted up without pause, over nightly bowls of pasta or during car rides to practice.  Like, nothing.  No big deal.

 

Also, my kids tell me they love me – all the time and for no particular reason.  My first distinct memory of saying “I love you”— out loud — to my mom was from a payphone in the middle of a dormitory hallway during my freshman year in college.  As I am forced to go through my third Mother’s Day without her, my heart still gets heavy when I think of this and my regret pains me.  It was way, way too late in life to have started that.

 

No doubt about it, my kids are being raised in a different world entirely.  My mother didn’t socialize with my friends’ parents. I would venture she didn’t know most of their names at all.  She didn’t come to many school events and never checked to see if I was doing homework.

 

If I had to make a list, I’m pretty sure I’m involved in a gazillion more things with my four than my mom ever was for me.

 

Yet the loves of my loins – all of them – have moments of intolerable selfishness, insufferable self-absorption, whininess, rudeness and petulance.  And – why hold back now — they occasionally swear.

 

So I do wonder:  Who’s done a better job at this mothering thing, me or mine?

 

What do you think?

 

With all her failings, my mother’s love for me was ferocious and I knew that every day of my life.  She raised kind, smart and capable children.

 

With my own failings, my love for my children is ferocious and they, too, know it every day of their lives..  I am raising kind, smart and capable children.

 

I’d say we both win this one.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of us – the successful ones, the failing ones and the holding-on-for-dear-life ones.   We got this.

 

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” She takes on the cyberspace @Eyerollingmom  and Eyerollingmom.