I just had lunch with my 23 year-old son, and like Sally Field at the Oscars I’d like to scream out – “I like him. I really like him!” While loving them comes naturally, motherhood is filled with fleeting periods when you’re not so sure you really like your kids.
Here are a few examples:
- The first time you go to kiss their sweet neck because it smells so good only to withdraw because their skin has turned from the scent of flowers to some kind of mix of dirt and sour milk.
- The first time they climb in bed with you to whisper a precious message and you realize they have really bad breath.
- The first time they throw a tantrum in line at the grocery story, grab all the gum they can, and you can move neither forward nor backwards.
- The time they are in Sunday School and tell the teacher they would rather meet the Devil than Jesus (true story – my daughter said she already knew Jesus).
- The time they come into the living room while company is visiting, twirling tampons as if they are nunchucks (true story – my son was really into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the time).
- The time the first permanent front tooth invades their face like Goliath, dwarfing the David teeth.
- The middle school years.
- The first time they get a tatoo and/or paint their fingernails black for a family outing.
- The first time they look at you and say, “whatever.”
- The last time they look at you and say, “whatever.”
For those of you still experiencing these moments, please know that an amazing adult is on the way. It just has to fight its way through body odor, bad attitude, and middle school years. Then someday you’re sitting across the table from your grown son and you realize what an amazing person he is.
Or you call your daughter in New York and spend 30 minutes in great conversation with lots of laughter. Those moments are on the way, I promise.
Until then, know that your child has the same brief moments of dislike for you. Like when you take their tampon nunchucks away from them in front of company. 🙂