My Supermom cape, that is. You know the one, fuschia satin with the large S embroidered by hand in metallic thread that begins to flow in the wind as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. They all know who I am anyway, these underlings in my house, but it's time they forget. I'm gonna have to fold the cape in a drawer for a while. Until they understand...
Understand that I don't enjoy staying up late to put the load into the dryer so they have the right uniform for tomorrow's game. I'm tired too.
Understand that I would prefer to do something else with my evenings than study for their math tests, edit their speeches, memorize their Bible verses and correct their vocab lessons. I did all that once already if I remember.
Understand that I really don't like to sew at midnight patching the last pair of pants on earth. Can we say, "Mom, my drawers are empty."
Understand that I can't solve the illusive sock mystery or answer questions like "why are there 5 kids' toothbrushes in the holder even though we only have 4 kids?"
Understand that I have eaten enough burnt toast in my life, thank you very much.
I have several in my home that will be adults the next time I blink my eyes, so it's about time they get used to donning their own capes.
I enjoyed being Supermom through the years. I really did. I admit, it feels good to know where everything is at all times, keep everyone on schedule, know who goes where when (why and how too), AND bake the cookies to go to each class party. Playing the martyr does give bragging rights at times.
But those days are over. I decided that tonight, after digging through the cooby hole at 11pm for the only collared shirt in the house. It is needed tomorrow, so I am now told, washed and dried, for a speech meet in first period. Not even enough time to swing by Walmart. Yes, I'm done.
I have worn the cape long enough. Too long. Like a bolt of lightning, I'm shocked at the realization that I have done my family no good by being so super. Have I taken away all their chances of being super on their own? They rely on me so much, they no longer think for themselves. They can't DO for themselves. They can't problem solve for themselves.
Won't they be surprised when I emerge tomorrow plainly clad and capeless? They'll have to pour if they want to eat breakfast. They'll have to pack if they want to eat lunch. And they'll have to fend if they don't want to go out the door naked. Oh, my.
Well, I'm going a little overboard, yes. Compared to some, I'm sure I do have some pretty level headed and conscientious kids. They are kids after all. And my 15 year old DID do an amazing job at snow blowing our driveway this week!
I shouldn't be so hard on them. I do have good kids... It's really about me. I wish I had given more credence to those early lessons on natural consequences, and started them young in learning that life isn't fair. We do get what we get and don't get upset, after all.
It's just that I love them, and I want them to be happy and well cared for. Somewhere through the years though, the love got all mixed up with the self-responsibility, and we ended up here. Here, with the flowing satin cape. And the S that's fading like the color of my hair. Maybe the S can begin to stand for Supportive mom or Shaping mom. Supervise and Send mom. Yes, those sound a little more reasonable for the next phase of my parenting.
So, folding up the cape.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."