It’s happened. Other than being a human vending machine, my tween kids find me pretty much uncool.
I knew it was only a matter of time. I had been warned by the moms who had paved the way before me, but secretly hoped I would be exempt. Still, nothing quite prepares you for it until it actually happens to you. My kids are officially embarrassed of me.
I remember the days of clingy children, when no one else but mom could soothe the anxious soul. Not so much anymore. A text message from a bestie works just fine.
On the rare occasion I have to physically enter my kid’s educational institution (a tragedy in their sweet minds),
I am given the following instructions:
Do not say anything to anyone.
Do not make eye contact.
Do not speak to my teacher.
Do not try to hug or kiss me.
Do not introduce yourself to the class.
Do not bring my lunch in late to my class.
Do not try and chat up my friends.
Do not talk to fellow parents.
It USED to be:
Can you volunteer in my class every day of the week?
Can you bring special treats in for the class?
Can you lead math group?
Can you come as a chaperone on all my field trips this year?
Can you bring the new kittens to class for my show and tell?
Can you give me a hug and a kiss as you walk me to my classroom?
Can you come have lunch with with me?
Can you be one of our recess monitors?
Oh the glory days of being popular with my children. Granted, I admit I am pretty much guilty of all the “Don’t’s”. I am the mom who waves frantically and yells out the window, “I love you!” as I drop them off at school.
I am the mom playing Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake It Off” a little too loudly as I pick them up.
I am the mom who shows up unannounced at school so I can wave at my kids in their class room.
I am the mom who laughs really loudly and runs to meet them as they exit the school building.
I am the mom who arrives in old yoga pants and a messy ponytail.
It became really apparent how much grief I was causing in my kid’s lives when I began to see the eye roll, the muttering under breath, and the refusal to make eye contact. It was the worst when my son pretended not to know me. His teacher had to ask who I was.
I also will admit that my subject of conversation can be questionable in public settings. For instance, as my daughter and I stood in line at her school orientation, I was sharing how the lady at the salon told me I should start waxing my arm hair.
I caught her shifty eyes and body language as she slowly started moving away from me.
“Mom, Can we please NOT discuss your arm hair at school?”
Oops. OK, maybe their concerns are warranted but still… I’m their mom. They are supposed to be running to greet me with wild hugs and kisses, no matter their age! Right? Wrong. What a bummer.
I am trying to be optimistic when I say that I hope this season passes and one day they will return to their right minds. It sounds good anyway.
Lest you find my little diatribe completely lacking in redemptive quality, let me reassure you. There was a rare glimmer of a breakthrough today.
My son gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek as he said goodbye this morning. In front of the school building! I didn’t even have to ask. Plus, my daughter gave me a hug as she got out of the car!
Maybe there is hope for this mom with too much arm hair after all.
Jessica Hoefer-Land is a wannabe urban homesteader living in Portland with her blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. Described by her colleagues as a “Feminist Jedi Master,” Jessica can be found spreading “peace and wisdom” over at her blog, The Dalai Mama.