Mere Intention

be vulnerable

Month: May, 2013

Hipster

Mom, do you know what a hipster is?

I don’t. Do you?

Well, [neighbor boy] said it was…well, I can’t say.

Oh, honey, yes you can. You can always tell me what other kids say.

(tears welling up in eyes) Well, he said it’s someone who is Silly…and something else. It starts with an S but I can’t say it because it’s an adult word.

Okay, well, you can tell me anything and just let me know if you want to talk about it later.

(tugging on my shirt sleeve) Can we go talk about it?

Of course. (leave the dinner table to go sit on my bed)

I just can’t say it! I’ll get in trouble. (bawling with face buried in hands)

You will not get in trouble for what you’re going to say, I promise. You’re telling me about something that someone else said and it apparently bothered you quite a bit. Go ahead. (hugs all around)

He called me and [neighbor boy’s sister] hipsters and I asked him what a hipster is and he said it’s someone who’s Silly and…Stupid. (more crying and burying of face)

Oh, honey. Did those words hurt your feelings?

Yes.

Did you tell him that?

No.

Do you want to?

Yes. Can we go to his house so I can tell him?

Absolutely.

So we proceed down the street to the boy’s house and ask to speak with him. His mother brings him to the door and we talk about the fact that his words hurt Harper’s feelings and he apologized very sincerely. Then…then.

The mother looked at me and giggled and said, “You know, boys will be boys and they are going to say hurtful things to people. We’ll talk to him about it though.”

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I responded by pointing out that coming over to have the kids talk to one another was about me taking the opportunity to teach my daughter how to use her word and communicate with someone when they’ve said something that hurts her, and while the words used may not be a big deal in their house, they are in ours. And this was not about her son getting into trouble. (or that it’s okay because he’s a boy!!!)

I walked home feeling dumb and raw from her flippant reaction. I took her making light of her sons actions as a direct stab at my mothering of my daughter.

Then I decided that in the long run, my kid is better because of my actions. Removing anyone else’s opinions, what I did was stand up for my daughter and showed her that her feelings are valid. And how to use her voice and speak for herself. How to hold her head high when she wants to burst into tears because of feeling intimidated and inadequate.

She is my daughter, dammit. Don’t mess with us.

Why This was the Best Mother’s Day

This one’s going down in the books (er, blog-world) my friends.

So, here’s the thing. I’m not a big celebrator of me. I just don’t get very excited about things that are supposed to focus on me whether it be planning a special birthday party or Mother’s Day.

My friends and family have honored me well over the years with parties and baby showers and special gifts, and I’ve really appreciated the gestures and have had a grand time with all of them, but I’m tempted to lump Mother’s Day in with Valentine’s Day.

One more obligation to smile. It just feels weird.

But something happened yesterday – I felt alive and loved and honored in a way I haven’t ever before.

This could be because my kids are older and were totally involved and anticipating the day, this may be because I was communicative about things that I’d like to have as gifts (and received), this could be simply because the sun was shining and I slept in.

But I don’t think that cuts it.

I think what happened is that I’m alive and awake for maybe the first time in my mothering.

Now, I’ve always loved my kids. But, I’ve not always been present. I’ve not always liked them. I’ve not always wanted to be near them. I’ve often chosen to not hear them, to not let then climb on me, to not engage.

I’ve been working hard. Working on myself.

So on Mother’s Day this year, I woke up on my own, had a clear head, and was excited to see my kids. The day just seemed bright and clear and I was okay with all eyes being on me.

When I walked down the stairs and gifts were piled high on the table, homemade cards overflowing, I couldn’t help but smile and let myself feel the love of my family. Homemade and thoughtful store-bought gifts abounded. Things that were just.for.me.

My hubby had bought exactly what I wanted for lunch and cooked it perfectly – big, fat, pink salmon steak.

The hubby took the kids to the library for about an hour and I worked on my Mother’s Day gift – our new picnic table that I built last weekend, staining it. When they returned, they played all around me in the yard, laughing and enjoying one another, playing catch, riding bikes, teaching my daughter how to throw a baseball and catch it in her mitt.

As I was under the table, trying not to get my hair stuck in the stain I’d just applied, it hit me. This is the best day.

The best day. Because I chose to let myself be loved. I chose to open my heart to my family and listen to them be present in my life. I heard what they were saying to me – Mom, we know you and love you! – and I am humbled.

In the midst of all the goodness, there was a crazy five-year-old melt down and the washing machine broke – like broken-with-parts-on-the-floor-underneath-it broke. But I blinked at these things and they disappeared. No residual stress.

I am thankful. I am blessed. I am loved.

The best day.