I realize there has been a lot of talk this week about my sad van (read more here) and the realities that go along with being a mother of many people, but today I have hit a new low…or high…however you want to look at it. Today one of those “things” happened. One of the things that “I would NEVER…” Similar to how I swore I would NEVER drive a minivan, I also promised to the heavens that I would NEVER be THIS mom.
Today I became a Bumper-Sticker-Mama.
A tear nearly trickled down my cheek as I adhered the sticky side to my bumper. Because I already don’t feel like a minivan mom…but now…now I own a bumper sticker. And it’s not just ANY bumper sticker. It’s an “I’m proud of my kid blah blah blah…” bumper sticker. It’s the kind that I roll my eyes at when I’m sitting at the stop light. Yeah, yeah. We know you’re kid is smart and you’re proud. Whatever. The rest of us don’t care.
Yep. One of those.
I do not have stick people on the back of my car. I do not have a Jesus fish. You won’t find out my alumni status or my political affiliation on the back of my minivan. This is not the way I roll. These are not things that I do. But today as I was adhering the last nail in my mom-mobile coffin I realized that I have been rather critical-ish of some of my fellow (gulp) Bumper-Sticker-Mamas. I have underestimated the REASON for their gloatings. Maybe…just maybe…they have been pressured by the miniature people with big, puppy-dog eyes and pride. Let me explain.
A few weeks ago Daughter #1 came to me with a form from her school listing out all of the things she had to do to become an Honorable Hawk. She did this on her very own accord. With no parental pressure. And this is very uncharacteristic of #1. #1 does not usually care about these types of things. But Middle School has changed #1 making her ambitious and the like.
The form explained that she had to meet all of the following criteria:
- All grades must be 85 or above. (Check. This alone is mind boggling.)
- 2 hours of community service must be completed. (Check.)
- A poster explaining one of the school’s ethical principles must be created. (Check.)
Daughter #1 did all of these things. By herself. And if you knew #1, you would understand that these types of things just aren’t in her wheelhouse. But she did them.
And then she brought home a bumper sticker. Beaming Pride from ear to ear. Radiating from both eyeballs…the same little, tiny eyeballs that I grew inside of my womb. “Mom! Look! I did it! Can you put this on your car???”
Do not judge the Bumper-Sticker-Mamas. Because you just don’t know. You don’t know what it took for their offspring to reshape their wheelhouse. You don’t know what kind of pride these #1’s felt for themselves. You don’t know how impossible it was for that Mama to say no. 100% impossible. And you don’t know how all the Bumper-Sticker-Mamas have had to reshape their own wheelhouses to embrace the bumper sticker.