The Many Things Mom is to Teens Other than Mother
I Am Mother
I am not a woman. I am not a scholar or someone with even a brain for that matter. I do not have feelings, or a master’s degree. I haven’t lived a long life or gathered wisdom. I do not have anything to offer the world except perhaps Chap Stick in the winter, and ice cream money in the summer.
However, I AM a paycheck, backpack holder, note writer, Advil provider and a whole HOST of other inanimate objects and random people when it comes to my sons.
Sometimes I am an alarm clock. It seems that some days the only words that my 17 year old wants to hear from me is to tell him “when it’s time to leave.” Or wake him “up for school.” Or tell him “when dinner is ready.” Well, I AM slightly round and I have two hands and perhaps my voice is a little ringy and high pitched, so I suppose it isn’t a stretch that he mistakes me for a timepiece.
Sometimes I am a detective, scoping out missing items, solving puzzles and dilemmas. Why just yesterday I found my 17 year old sitting on my bed in my bedroom. He was looking serious. I knew that he needed my services. “Mom,” he said gravely. “I can’t find ONE sock. Not one sock ANYWHERE.” I took out my trusted magnifying glass and went to work. In the end, the socks I found weren’t a match, (ok– one was pink and one was black) but hey, my client wasn’t specific. Then came the puzzle; How to spare the 17 year old from the ridicule that might come if his buddies found out about his mismatched socks? This detective was able to solve that too. We covered them with his sneakers. Brilliant aren’t I? It’s all in a day’s work ma’am. All in a day’s work.
Sometimes I am punching bag–a punching bag that even after a brutal beating, still stands. Have a fight with your girlfriend? (“How was your day?” “Just shut up mom!”) *WHAP* Get a D on a Social Studies essay? (“Sweetheart, how did the social studies go today?” “Mom can’t you just leave me alone?”) *POW!* Get bullied by the local punk? (“I HATE you mom!”) *BLAM BLAM BLAM!* Don’t have any money to join your friends at the local Taco Bell? (“Why did I have to be born into THIS family?”) *KAPOWIE!* Luckily this particular brand of punching bag has an extremely thick skin!
Sometimes I am a stylist. I am often needed to remind about color combinations. That navy and black dilemma gets him every time. Before a date, I am outfit approver. For the record, my favorite is the mint green Izod Sweatshirt with the melon polo underneath. I am a hair stylist, trimming when necessary, shaving the backs of necks and making appointments at the salon for major reconstruction. I mend holes in collars where tags have been ripped out and sew on missing buttons. Recently my services were required for a more formal something. When shopping for a prom tuxedo, my opinion was actually asked for and used in the final decision.
I’ll admit that there are sometimes that the boys make me feel like an “it” –insignificant in this house in the world, in their lives. The car door that slams and leaves me saying “Have a good day,” to the air, the eye rolls, the disdain for any word that leaves my mouth, the fact that my mere presence sometimes seems like a colossal burden leaves me bitter sometimes, and I wonder what my purpose is. But as I reread this narrative, it dawns on me. Whether it be piggy bank or stylist, a safe place to figuratively punch or a skilled detective, a mother’s purpose is to be for her children what they need her to be at any given moment. And so I confidently add to my list of things that I am: Mother. Sometimes an unhappy mother, but mother no less.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.