There are few blessings in my life greater than my kids, who aren’t so little anymore. The two oldest are 21 and 20 now (which is hard enough to believe when I can remember their delivery like it was yesterday). We can, and do, have deep conversations about the meaning of life (quite literally) as well as many other topics..
During their teenage years, as friends of mine were complaining about the tumultuous drama that often accompanies those years, I felt awkwardly blessed that we seemed to skip that phase. Our home has always been the “hang out” home, and we’ve hosted countless bon-fire / flashlight tag events over the years, where it seemed the kids and their friends enjoyed themselves. In all of these events, I typically hang out right with the kids. I remember one event where one girl was dropped of at our house by her older brother. As they pulled up, I invited him to stay, and he gave me that look that said, “really? I’m going to hang out with my little sister and her friends?” He politely declined, but before leaving, struck up a conversation with some of the other kids who were there. He ended up staying the whole time, and had a great time. I kidded him about coming back sometime and he said, in all seriousness, that he would – that he had an amazing time. “You people are cool” is what he said. His sister was mortified, but I was flattered.
Yep, your mom is the “cool mom”, their friends would tell them. I found it so amazing that their friends would often hang out with me when they were at our house.
As many of my readers will know, I like to have fun – to that end, several years ago, my kids and I created an Amusement Park Bucket List, and have begun working our way through visiting all of the Cedar Fair and Six Flags amusement parks in the domestic US. This summer, I will be attending a conference with my youngest daughter and our youth group in Orlando, and will be visiting Universal Studios – later in the year, we have a day-trip planned for Cedar Point (our favorite Cedar Fair park). In discussion with my youngest daughter (14) one night, she literally said, “mom, do I have to hang out with my friends at the park, or can I just hang out with you?”
At first I thought she was being facetious, but as we talked, I realized she was entirely serious. She knows that when I DO a park, I DO a park – and what we’ve learned from other trips is that most people don’t do amusement parks the way we do – open to closed, 110% committed to every thrill ride, stay hydrated and fed just enough to not get sick, and ride til you can’t ride no mo! We’ve learned that most people aren’t like that.
Beautiful. just beautiful. it warmed my heart. I thought the initial conversation was the end of it, but as we were talking about the concert I’m taking her to for her birthday (21 Pilots), she remarked again that she’s looking forward to hanging out with me at the park, too.
Im not so naïve to think my kids won’t grow up and have their own lives… but am so incredibly blessed that each of them still think I’m a cool mom.’ I will enjoy every minute of it.
‘Blessed beyond belief,