Dear 12-Year-Old Son of Mine,
It is my job to recognize “teachable moments” in your life. Sometimes, I miss the mark. Today, I knocked it out of the ballpark.
The next time you consider rolling your eyes and smart talking the mother who carried you for nine months and pushed out all 11 pounds and 8 ounces of you, remember this:
Remember that I love you.
Remember that I have held your hand while a doctor stitched you up.
Remember that I have cheered for you at 8,932 sporting events.
Remember that I read Goodnight Moon to you 461 times…everyday for six months.
Remember that I pretended not to notice when you fed your Brussels sprouts to the dog.
Remember that I gave you the last ice cream bar.
Today—the day that you eye rolled so hard that your eyeballs almost fell out of your head and the tone in your voice was worse than the words you spoke. I recognized the “duh” tone from my own teenage voice.
I was so taken aback by your behavior that for once, I was speechless.
You had friends in the car and I prayed for guidance.
Should I deal with this in front of his friends or wait until we are alone? Please, don’t let me kill my child in front of his friends.
Just as I was praying for answers, I received a sign.
Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” came on the radio.
Cranking the radio as loud as I could stand, I began to sing. Louder and louder, I sang.
I swayed in my seat. I sang the wrong words. I showed you and your friends my awesome “white girl overbite” move.
I pretended not to notice your horrified face. I waved my hands in the air and sang, “I got to take a little slime. A little slime to make things grosser!”
As I dropped you and your friends off, I called you to my window. I smiled my biggest smile, winked at you and said, “Don’t ever talk to me like that, again.”
I wish you could have known your great grandmother. She had many southern phrases that still play in my head. Today, I heard her say, “That will fix your little red wagon.”
So…what did you learn today? Never underestimate your mother. Never sass talk your mother. And never roll your eyes at your mother—especially in front of your friends.