Monday, April 22, 2013

Being a Mom is easy, Being my kid? Well, the jury is still out.

We all have our talents and our challenges in life. The one thing that I've always wanted to do since I was little was be a mom. I had practice on my little sisters. Although, I don't think it actually prepared me for real motherhood. But from the beginning of becoming a mom and having children I was linked to my kids. I dreamed about each one. My first born walked out of the hospital while being born telling the nurses to tell me he'd be back after he viewed the world. He is in the Army. My second child was talking to everyone right after birth. She said her first word at three months old. "Hi." She hasn't been quiet since. My third child, another boy, tried to turn his crib into a time machine. He wants to become an engineer. (Also, I'm beginning to think time travel may be possible.) The dream about my third child was totally different. In his dream we were sitting on a hill having a picnic together. According to the dream dictionary is prophetic of success and happiness. What more can you want for your child?

Now, if you ask any one of my children to describe me in one word I believe the consensus would be, "crazy." I believe that I have been branded this title unfairly, just for the record. I'm not crazy. (Of course my husband prefers the word "eccentric.") I'm just creative. I have a tendency to say things in, perhaps, unusual ways. It makes for a fun household. My children also know that I am a very hands on and engaged mom. I like to do things with them and for them. We spend quite a bit of time together. (As much as possible with my oldest since he lives in another state and has to take leave to visit.) The only problem with taking them places is that I may have a tiny bit of difficulty when it comes to directions.

I believe I inherited this trait from my own biological mother. I remember once when I was five years old, and my younger sister was three, that she stole the keys from my sleeping father to take us for an afternoon drive because she was bored. For some reason my father didn't let her drive. Perhaps it was because she didn't have a legal license to drive. More than likely, it was because he was afraid that she would get lost and never return home. After the incident, perhaps his fears were valid. We ended up in the middle of a golf course with her screaming "WEEEEEE!!!!" as she did donuts in the grass. My sister and I were having a grand time until the police stopped us. Even though I was young I was convinced we were going to jail. But my mother, quick to thinking, started babbling in Italian to an extremely frustrated officer. He just told her to go home, speaking what little Spanish he knew (which he obviously didn't realize was an entirely different language than my mother was speaking), "comprendez?"

You would think this would be one incident that would never be repeated. Unfortunately, that's what one gets for thinking. It is true that the sins of the mother are doomed upon the child. One night I was driving late to get to a camping spot in Oklahoma from Texas. Somehow I made a wrong turn. It just felt like it was the right turn. That's the thing about being directional impaired, you FEEL like you should be going a certain direction. Anyway, lo and behold, after going through a couple of bushes (I still don't know how they got in the road) I ended up on a golf course. My husband, who had very nicely been trying to tell me that he thought I might want to turn around, started laughing. He knew the story of my mother. Now my children had one of their own. Thanks to my husband, that is. Only one sleeping baby was in the car at the time. Of course I could just deny the entire episode and make them think is was one of his tall tales, but unfortunately, they know me too well.

Besides, even if they didn't the story with three out of the four in the car would do me in. After this, I think all credibility of being able to drive without difficulty might be a difficult sell.

We were driving about an hour from home a couple of years ago. My daughter was going with me, as she often does. (Since she has been an adult we have become great friends. Thank goodness her teenage years are behind us.) My two youngest sons in the back of the car. We started out well. Driving down the highway, onto the road in a city we have never been. I had done well. We were still in Wisconsin. (I should get bonus points for that at least.)

The trouble only came when we ran into a detour due to road construction. I had been depending on my handy dandy gps. She had failed me in the past, but she seemed to be behaving that day. She gave me an alternate route. I took it.

I became a bit suspicious as we rode onto a dirt road. The cattle gates on either side did make me raise an eyebrow, but I mean, surely I was heading in the right direction.

The road got a little bumpy. We found some nice greenery on the road. Some trees. And then we came to this extremely steep incline. I paused. Did I dare go down the incline to see if the road got better? It looked like maybe the gps was urging me to go that route. My youngest son in the back was scared. The road didn't look safe to him. My other two children were not very encouraging.

Against my better judgement I listened to them. We rounded the curve and ended up - in a soy bean field.

"Mom, you took us on a field trip!" my daughter exclaimed. I started laughing. I was laughing so hard it made it hard to think.

What to do, what to do? I turned around of course. I was very careful not to trample the van onto the well planted crop. It was tricky, but I managed. I was half Italian after all. Mario Andretti is able to take curves with no trouble due to his heritage, I'm sure.

My daughter suggested I go back to the main road. My sons agreed. I, according to them, had obviously not followed the directions very well. I disagreed. We had an alternative road left, didn't we?

I went back to the dirt road incline. It was steep. If it had been winter and we had skis we would have been set for an adventure. However, it was late Spring and sunny. The van would have to do.

As I started down the hill I hear screaming from the back seat.

"Mom don't! We're going to die!" yelled my youngest in fear.

However, I didn't hesitate. I took the incline. Miraculously we made it to the bottom of the incline and found - a tree. A very big tree. The scenery around us looked like something you would find on late night television. The place where serial killers take their victims to be buried and never seen again. We locked the doors. We carefully looked around - from inside the van. No one was visible wearing a white hockey mask. We were good.  We were also thankful it was daylight.

To this day I swear the gps was laughing at me.

However, we did manage to make it back up the hill without dying.

I went back out through the cattle gates and onto a paved road. We found our destination in the end.

A memory was made that day. I'm sure it is one that my children will remember about me like the one I remember about my own mother. The truly unfortunate part is only that it doesn't change their mind about thinking that I'm crazy. But that's okay. They love me and I adore them. That is what being a mom is all about.

(P.S. I was inspired to write this post for a contest in Mompact after my daughter wrote one.)