This morning I had the EPIC FAIL mom moment. We all have them. The moment where you feel like the worst mom on the face of the planet. (When in reality if we WERE the worst mom in the world, we won't feel bad at all. That is what would make you or me THE WORST mom ever.)
Here's how it went down this morning at the breakfast table:
Son drops strawberry jam knife...it bounces off his shirt and onto the floor. I use a "bad" word (and I believe so did he; our family is developing quite a colorful vocabulary) as I get a paper towel to clean it up.
Son: "Mom you care more about this shirt than do you about me."
Son: "You said 'oh shit' because of the shirt. You care more about the shirt than me. Remember the time I fell down and tore my khakis? You were all pissed off that I ripped my new khakis and I was bleeding!"
Okay, I *think* I vaguely remember this incident. I remember the torn pants. I can't remember when it happened, but I'm thinking several years have gone by since then. Yet he remembered it. And he completely blindsided me with his outburst and subsequent tears. Did he overreact? Yes. It probably didn't help that he faces the math portion of the PARCC (or as we call it CCRAP) test today and was a little stressed out. (Side note: The past two days have been spent on the literacy portion as far as I know from what he's told me. He thought they were easy and says he spent much of his leftover time reading. So if nothing else, the PARCC is allowing him more time to read and with no homework for the week, more time to play and relax.) Nonetheless, he had a point. And that point HURT.
It's not what I want him to think. I certainly hope that he DOESN"T think that way (most of the time.) This is not the memory I want him to have of me.
The memory I wish he had of today is one that he doesn't have because he was way too little. It takes place 10 years ago in a courtroom in Newark. It was the day that Judge Benjamin Cohen officially and legally made us a family. (See I DO have a good memory...or is it just that it was such an important day to me that details still stand out 10 years later?) It was a formality for us, but an important one. It was also a great excuse for a party (on a Thursday)! If he had any memory of that day, perhaps he wouldn't have said what he did. (Or maybe he would have. After all he's entered the tween years and the sass, back talk and overall obnoxious attitude is starting to rear its ugly head.)
To make good out of bad, and knowing that I am NOT the worst mom in the universe, I plan on making a special effort tonight to talk to him about 10 years ago today. To pull out photos and show him all that happened that day. (How many of you have a proud photo with a court judge?) How long it took us to get to that moment and how important HE is. Maybe I'll even jog his memory a bit with an April 27th celebration we had 4 years ago when we were on spring break in Walt Disney World and the cast members at the Rose and Crown restaurant in Epcot told him that Mickey Mouse had been delayed on the monorail and that he needed to "start" Illuminations (fireworks) that evening by waving a magic sword.
While I can't erase bad memories or feelings, I CAN be a positive parent. I can learn from my son just as much as he has learned from me. I CAN make sure that the good memories outweigh the not so good. And I can try to have those moments be the ones that he remembers.