Have you ever wondered what your kids thought about you? I mean, REALLY thought about you?
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how my kids see me, and just what they think of what they see. I've tried to be honest with myself on this, and not to just believe that they are thinking what I'd like them to think. Surprisingly, this has not been as easy as you would think. Apparently, I think rather highly of myself.
But as this exercise was in trying to really know what my kids think of me, I tried again. This time, though, it occurred to me that maybe I should just ASK my kids. I know, brilliant, right? However, this too has proven a tad more difficult that I had hoped. It seems I missed the memo that went out to every parent on the planet that said that teenagers? They don't like to make free with the information. Who knew?
Ten year olds on the other hand, are a bit more expressive. Bug has always been an openly affectionate kid, for which I am eternally grateful. He will hug me every time he walks into a room, tell me he loves me when he calls from a friend's house, and has been known to just randomly tell me what an awesome mom I am. Seriously, and for no bigger reason than that I cook dinner (even though they all openly confess that my cooking is not really their favorite thing about me) and do his laundry. But perhaps one of my favorite recent memories to think on when I think of Bug and what he thinks of me is something he said one night while he was mostly asleep.
He had been in bed for about 30 minutes, and was in that place between full sleep and somewhat awake. I had to run up to the baseball fields and shut off the lights, and peeked in on him. He stirred just enough to ask where I was going, and after I told him he said to me:
Well, be careful. I couldn't live without you if something happened to you.
I may not be a stellar housekeeper, only doing the dishes when we've run out of plates or utensils and vacuuming only when we're expecting company. I may not be a master chef, with the most variety in my kitchen coming in their choice of chocolate chip or cinnamon frozen waffles. I am useless when it comes to helping them with their math, can't be used as an opposing lineman for football practice and I really have no arm to speak of to use to throw a baseball. But....
I laugh a lot with them. I tell them daily how much I believe in them and how proud of them I am. I hug them every morning when they wake up, every night when they go to bed, and as many times in between as I can manage to grab them. I make their favorite dinner when their hearts hurt, and again when they're celebrating. When they're feeling that life is just not fair or going their way, I take them for ice cream--because sometimes you just need comfort food. Even if you're a 15 year old boy. And sometimes just because you're a 15 year old boy.
So the more I think about it, the more I know what I mean to them. I'm necessary. Necessary to their happiness and necessary to their well-being. I'm just plain necessary to them, like they are necessary to me.
And I don't think that's a bad thing, really.