Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rock Star Mom

rain boots drying on kids' chairs

I spend a fair amount of time reading the words of writer-parents. Nearly every one of them wants me to feel like I'm doing a good job. I like that. It's nice of them.

The word on the street is that parents feel lousy about themselves for not being perfect, and many writers encourage me to go easy on myself--to forgive myself for not being perfect. This is not my issue. I'll be honest: I felt much worse about my lack of perfection back in junior high, when the stakes were lower, than I do now.

I'm not perfect, but I'm trying pretty hard. The pediatrician says that my kids are healthy, and the teachers tell me they are good students. Every now and then, someone even says that my kids are well-behaved or polite. It sounds to me like I'm doing a pretty bang-up job, even if it isn't perfect.

Sure, I cop out and feed them pizza, hot dogs, or mac and cheese too often. I often don't cook for my hard-working husband at all. The kitchen counter is cluttered with mail and dirty dishes, and I don't plan to figure out why the printer isn't working properly.

I can accept my imperfections because I do some things right. When I do, I allow myself pride best reserved for sending a man to the moon. Here are three things I've done in the last two days that make me a rock star.

Pond Scum

After school, my kids were playing at the pond and creek next to my son's school. I heard crying, turned toward my daughter, and saw the Creature from the Black Lagoon. She had fallen into the scummy pond up to her chest and struck a pose not seen since "Carrie" and the bucket of blood. She was wet, dirty, stinky, and screaming.

I retrieved from the car: a reusable grocery bag, a package of Fresh Feet Wipes, a rag, her gymnastics leotard, and her sneakers. We found a bathroom, I stripped her naked, hoisted her into a small sink and proceeded to clean her up using only items found in my car, paper towels, and liquid hand soap. She arrived at gymnastics clean, dressed, and on time.

It's like I'm MacGyver.

child's dirty feet in the sink

A Simple Tool

The pool deck and patio are now clean, but that's not the most impressive part of the power washing experience (although it's pretty amazing, if I do say so myself). I need to return the machine to Home Depot, and getting it in the car was my most amazing feat yet.

Wisely, I folded down the rear seats this time, so I didn't need to lift the washer up and drop it into the well, taking out my back with it. I rolled the washer up to the car and lifted. Not even close. No way in hell I was ever going to be able to lift it more than a couple inches off the ground.

Moments later, a neighbor dad out for a run asked if I needed help. I didn't, because I'd already gotten the big ol' machine in the car all by myself. I found a piece of plywood in the garage and used it as a ramp to roll the power washer up into the minivan.

I was very, very proud. You would have thought I'd invented ramps. That's how proud I was.

Two for One

After I fed the kids pizza (again) and put them to bed last night, I cooked a second meal for my husband and me. Can you believe how extraordinary I am? I can hardly get my head around the idea of trimming chicken fat after 8 p.m., but it happened. But that's not all. At the same time I was cooking chicken and broccoli for last night's dinner, I made sauce for tonight's meatball dinner. That's right. Two meals at once. It's like I'm magic or something.

There you have it. I don't let my weaknesses and mistakes, of which there are many, get me down. Celebrate the success and let the failure go. It's all a matter of attitude. I think mine's pretty good. How's yours? What extraordinary things have you done this week?

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I have linked this post at Just Write.


  1. You are a rock star! ANd I can tell you from personal experience that your son is wicked polite -- at least on the baseball diamond.