About three years ago, Max told me, “I haven’t been working out at all. The only time I run any more is in P.E. My mile time has gotten slower and slower.”
I said, using my most loving mom incentive-y voice, “What will you do if someone is chasing you?”
Max said, “Lie down and give up all hope.” And then he stopped and said, “Or turn and run straight at them, screaming. No one expects that.”
My sons and I have conversations in the car, at the kitchen table, via text, through the doors of my bathroom. Most of the time I am trying really hard to be a good mom without losing my shit and also conveying to them that I love them more than anything in the entire world but without being a helicopter or a tiger or whatever it is kind of mom. It’s freaking difficult. Every day I hear a woman say something about a man being a jerk or an asshole or uncommunicative. And here I am raising two young men as a divorced middle aged mom. I’ve got to make a difference. No pressure.
Like Max, my mile time has gotten slower and slower. I feel, often, like lying down and giving up all hope. Then last week my 83 year old mother had to move out here from Colorado to California to live with us and there was no way I could let her drive her 2005 Subaru and her 75 pound dog Lilo out here alone.
And my sons, my amazing sons, volunteered to fly out to Denver and drive back with her. Not only did they drive her back, they got her from Denver to Sonoma County in a day and a half. My mother said to me, “I am so impressed with Shane. He got behind the wheel and said, ‘Let’s go,’ and off we went.” Shane and Max took turns driving through Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. They stopped one night at a motel and a few times to eat. My mother said to me, “Your sons say thank you to everyone. They even said thank you to the person cleaning the floors at the McDonald’s.” My kids just said, “It was a great adventure.” Oh – and Shane said, “Mom, we didn’t get tailgated once until we got into California.”
Today I took my mom to Safeway to grocery shop. As we were leaving, she said to me, “I said thank you to the grocery clerk who handed me a bag. Your sons made me remember that because they say thank you to everyone. It really does make a difference.” I guess I forgot how often I said thank you to my sons, maybe that helped a little. I say thank you for calling me. Thank you, for doing your laundry, for cleaning your room. Thank you for remembering to call a family member on their birthday. Thank you for doing such a good job in school. Thank you for doing your best. Thank you, I appreciate you. Thank you, I love you. And I say to myself, I will remember to say thank you more often, too.
On the days when I feel like I want to lie down and give up, when I feel overwhelmed, something always happens to make me remember that it’s all worth it. And I take a deep breath and turn around and run screaming and laughing right back at life. No one ever expects that. Thank you. Keep saying thank you. It matters. Namaste.