Mom guilt. Goes with the territory, I guess.
Casey’s spent this past week with my parents. Grammie and Pa’s house is every kids paradise: unlimited PB&J’s, following Pa’s every movement by a half a step, in and out of his favorite travel trailer parked in the driveway.
Perhaps in a moment of seclusion I’ll admit it’s been a great week for me, too. I haven’t had to attend the every need of a toddler in a 15 year old body. I haven’t had to broker peace between two brothers who can’t have a conversation. I haven’t had to engineer every outing to ensure success.
I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to be a **gasp** parent of a typical kiddo.
Then the calvary of mommy guilt comes galloping in.
I’m supposed to long for my absent son. I’m supposed to express how much joy he brings to my life daily and that I am incomplete without him. I’m supposed to pretend I miss the most thankless job in the universe.
Maybe I’m a bad mom. Maybe I’m just hiding behind a wall of hauteur because a certain level of conceit protects me like a suit of armor.
Casey’s a teenager. There’s no denying the vanishing pudginess of childhood, the changing of his voice, or the amount of laundry. He starts high school in September.
Ouch. High school.
He’s the easiest he’s ever been, the most independent, and the most fun.
His communication is improving. His ability to navigate the world is getting better. He’s asserting some independence and distancing himself from his mom.
He’s spreading his wings and testing the waters in preparation for his grand entrance into adulthood. Isn’t that what teenagers are supposed to do?
His independence will undoubtedly look very different from most kids. We joke about a golf cart but he probably won’t drive. His first job will require a job coach instead of a resume. He’ll live with his parents as an adult.
He still teaches us what boundless joy looks like. He still shows us that we should high five everyone regardless of what they say about us behind our backs or on social media. He can spend a whole day without looking at a phone. He’s a constant reminder to live in the moment, surround yourself with friends, and always carry a change of clothes.
Maybe I’m actually kicking ass at this job. Maybe I just have a great sidekick.