I have been raising kids for 23 years and I think I have finally achieved success in my profession. I just printed new business cards that read, “Chief Ninja Mom Executive”. I realize that I have invested years to arrive at this career high – I like to tell my older kids that I practiced with them to finally get my parenting right with the younger two. And now that I have reached this pinnacle in my maternal career – my youngest son is a tween – I am starting to feel the effects of peaking and now I think that I may be on my way down the parental corporate ladder. A disclaimer – my two older children are turning out pretty good for having been the guinea pigs in my parental experimentation!
There is some irony here – while I am experiencing the effects of being on the other side of the parenting curve with my youngest son, I am also bursting with experience, great advice and thoughtful reflections. I also find myself dismayed by the events that take place, what seems like, daily, that are my “LASTS” as a parent, and yet I am inspired by their beauty and triumph.
LAST week I sat in my final Elementary Back to School Night. Once upon a time I sat in this room and looked around feeling young and fresh and that night I actually felt like a veteran. The same teacher who I have loved since my eldest daughter was in her class in 2002 was still energetic and dynamic; She is a divine educator who sings, dances and delights her students – she makes learning fun and exciting. I looked around the room and even after a short month, the kids’ artwork and projects brilliantly decorated the walls and ceilings. Then I laid my eyes on a few typewriters and record players sitting on the side table. The very machines I fondly grew up with were now the delightful ‘Artifacts’ for our iTechnology Tweens to relish. I did feel old!
LAST weekend I went with my tween to a weekend class campout at El Capitan just outside of Santa Barbara. I have taken this same trip a dozen times over the years, but this time was extra special as it was the end of an era – ‘My El Capitan Finale’. My son and I settled into our small wood cabin nestled in the rolling hills above the beach. It was a beautiful, warm weekend with visits to the beach, sand castles, hiking, campfires, Banana Grams, soccer games, karaoke and lots of biking. Tweens who normally sit glued to their iTechnology were running around breathing fresh air and playing with their friends. Parents who are usually hooked to their smart phones were bonding, talking and playing as well. It was a magical event and even the mouse who rustled in my cabin all Saturday night did not ruin my spirits.
LAST night, I picked up my tween at 4:15 from school, brought him home. Turned around and drove to get teen from volleyball at 5:30pm. Brought her home. Left to take teen to more volleyball at 6:30pm. I went out to a lecture and came home. Tween was still up and wanted to snuggle and report the Dodgers win. Teen wanted to engage in a full conversation and was dismayed when I said I was too tired – it was almost 11pm and way past my weekday curfew.
A Typewriter, A Turntable, A Weekend Campout and an Old Fashion Mom – 20th Century Artifacts that still work pretty well!