No, I'm not quoting Sheena Easton. And for those of you that are too young to remember Sheena, shame on you. OK, now did I remember that song correctly? Shame on me. "You've got the look. somethin something somethin my book..."
I'm getting old.
The look I'm talking about is the one I've been waiting a long time to receive. I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. When it did, it shook me to the core. I wasn't prepared.
You know what it's like to be the bad guy all the time? I mean, the bad mom. The one who makes sure the vitamins are taken, vegetables eaten, doctor appointments kept, right clothes are worn, and teeth are brushed. Sometimes I find myself biting my tongue and thinking, "pick your battles." This wasn't one of those times, though.
I had to step in. You see, we got our first few flakes of snow today. It didn't stick around for long once it hit the ground, but this morning's trek to the bus stop was wet and slushy. Time to put the Crocs, with their strategically placed holes just perfect for soaking toes, away. Young One wanted no part of this, so he glared at me, defiantly put on his hiking shoes and headed out the door. And right before he left, without saying a word and definitely not speaking to me (something that has never happened before either!), he shot me The Look.
You know The Look. It's in caps for a reason. It's The Look that we gave our parents when we started exercising that age old quest for independence. The Look that says, you're so mean and I don't care, but I'm going to shoot you this Look so that you hurt to the core because I'll do what you say, but I'm not going to like it. I think it's basically the double evil eye, but honed to perfection by several hundred years of genetic mutations.
The Look, coupled with the silent treatment hit me so hard, I started to cry. I wasn't quite ready for it and before I could put on my Mom Mask of Steel, I lost it.
Through my tears, I said goodbye and that you shouldn't leave anyone in anger--that's a hard and fast rule in our home. But, he was strong. He held forth and strutted to the bus stop where he ignored the neighbors and stared up at the snowflakes coming down.
I watched out the living room window (from a safe distance from the windows--I didn't want him to see me!!), trying to come to terms with the fact that he just might leave without fixing things.
And then he ran home, gave me a huge hug, and said, "I'm sorry Mommy." I forgave him and he got back to the stop just in time to hop on the bus. (And yes, he still calls me Mommy. I'm waiting for the day when some cruel kid makes fun of him for this, but oh well. I think in public I may be Mom, but at home I get the extra m and the finishing y.)
Maybe I am doing something right.
This growing older business is difficult on us moms. The problems get so much bigger and there are more emotions involved. I'm not looking forward to the emotional stuff that goes along with being a pre-teen and eventually, a full blown raging bag of hormones.
Young One has never given us a bit of trouble. If anything, he goes beyond overboard when it comes to rules and has a hard time prying the stick out of his heiney to have a good time. He's the kid that will button his polo shirt up to the top for school pictures and dreamed of being on the school patrol early in his elementary school career. Now that he is one, Bus Cop is the formal title, the power and authority can go to his head! He likes clear expectations, clear rules. Thank goodness for his tender heart and his sense of humor!
Maybe he'll rebel. He'll become a Republican (sorry my Red friends, but I just had to get that in!) He won't recycle. He'll refuse to eat his carrots. He'll (gasp) stand up on the bus while the vehicle is in motion (Section 4, Article 2a of the Bus Cop Code).
The Look, though, it scared me. I think I'm going to have to start taking some lessons or rely on my mom friends who've survived these trying years. If this is just the beginning, I'm in trouble.