Being a mother is an experience in watching and feeling your body do some pretty amazing things.
When you’re pregnant your eyes get big as your stomach expands to many times its normal size and the other body parts join in for good measure. When your child is born it’s like the doors of your heart are kicked open so you’re able to handle the additional love that flows like an untapped faucet. When your kids experience their first heartache, you cry not just in sympathy but because, try as you might, you cannot take away the pain. And then there’s the heady feeling of undeniable joy when you have taught your children a lesson that they absorb and put into practice.
That last sensation has happened to me twice in the last two weeks and each time I have been so proud of my kids I didn’t know what to do.
The first time came when I was explaining to Casey and Cole a recent discussion I was having on Facebook – you remember that famous Condoleeza Rice debate from a few days ago!. A Facebook friend had offered her opinions on the kind of man Condoleeza NEEDED and went on to say that being in a relationship was “the normal way of things.” My kids both sort of scratched their heads because, even though they have been alive only a fraction of the time as my 50-year-old friend, they made much more sense when they posed the simple question, “ But mom, what is normal?”
And then there was yesterday. Remember a few months back, I told you that my son had been in a band and that one of his bandmate’s mothers is a pushy stage mom type? As you may recall, she – in her infinite wisdom – kicked Cole and another boy out of the band so her son could add a couple of his other friends. Cole is a pretty easy-going kid but there’s no denying he was hurt by what happened and I was pissed. But part of being a parent is helping your kids learn what to do when they are wronged and how to handle pain and disappointment. I told Cole not to worry, that it would all work out in the end.
Fast forward to this Saturday, the day of the kids’ music recital. I knew this was going to be the first time on stage for Cole and his new group and the first time I saw the mean mom who stomped all over my kid’s heart in an effort to make her child a star. We got there early enough to be first in line so when the doors opened, we got a seat right in front of the stage. Cole and his fellow exile had added two more boys to make up a new group and they were up first. If they were nervous, it didn’t show; I think I was probably more stressed, not sure how they would play together for the first time. So our boys, the new group, kicked things off and they KICKED ASS! Yes they did! They were solid, cohesive and most of all, they had fun! While their old group was all about the lead singer, this group was a collaboration, with no one player carrying more weight or import than the others. It was truly a team and the fact that they sounded as good and played as well as they did, underscored to me that they were, dare I say it, HAPPY.
Later the boys joined Casey, who along with a couple of other friends rocked the house with her own co-ed band.
Basking in the glow of the afternoon’s successful performances Cole said something interesting to me. He told me that one of the other boys in their former band apologized to him and then gave him a hug (you know, a guy hug). Wow. Now that was impressive. This other boy was able to recognize and do what the stage mother could not; make amends. I asked Cole how he reacted and he said, “Mom those guys are cool. It’s all good.”
It’s all good. That’s when I literally wanted to burst into tears. I must have done something right, I must be DOING something right to be raising a kid with such a sunny disposition and great outlook. One who does not hold grudges and can overcome the hurt caused by others. One who is big enough to say, “it’s all good” and move on. In that regard, he’s even better than his mother.
Of course, I have no doubt this kid will be back to driving me nuts about something, like an utterly inane argument with his sister over whose turn it is to ride in the front seat or something along those lines. But for a moment, a fleeting moment, I saw the man he will become. And I could not be more proud.
Has this ever happened to you? Have your kids surprised you with wisdom beyond their years? Lemme hear it!