Monday, January 31, 2011

Grace and Atomic Fireballs

My son brought home a gift for me from his most recent sleepover. He tried to pass them off as jawbreakers, but I knew their true identity from the grin on his face (not to mention the wrappers.) 17 Atomic Fireballs—a most beautiful present. I ate one immediately.

Oldest. He is teetering at the edge of 10 ½, feeling a desire for more independence, striving for his own identity, and—well, he loves me, but I’m sort of a hassle. I’m his connection to childhood, which is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. I insist that he do math, and grammar, and write neatly enough that others can actually read it. Daily. I have this annoying tendency to push things like vegetables, sharing, getting your work done, keeping eye-rolling to a bare minimum, and being nice to sisters. He knows by now that I am in no way a perfect mother, and that we both have bulldog instincts when it comes to an argument (Who me? Let go? You first.)

There is a part of me that will always want to be a cool mom. I try to do what’s best for my kids, and I take un-cool stances all the time, but I can’t say I always do it with confidence and without hesitation. I know without a doubt that my kids love me, but I really like it when they like me, too. Honestly, it’s painful being a drag. So maybe it’s silly, but I find a huge amount of grace in the fact that I can raise my esteem in the eyes of a ten year-old boy by eating an Atomic Fireball with a smile. Want one?


  1. I think being a mom is absolutely the hardest job ever, so many variables and then at the end of the day you just hope your kids like you. I'm sure Karen you and Brian do a great job!!! I love your blog! Have a great day. Dayna

  2. Karen, I loved this post...especially, 'Honestly, it is painful being a drag.'

    With two teenage boys I can tell you that this balance between being mom and being a friend is tricky waters. I want to be their friend, mom.

    Some days we are there and other days they simply raise their eyebrows at me as if to say, "Wow, and where did she come from????"

    I, like you, try to capture those moments when we can let go and laugh together. They are precious gifts to our relationships.

  3. I love this post (and atomic fireballs, too).

  4. Ah, raise your esteem in the eyes of your son by. . .

    I hear that, big time. Still happening in silly little ways with my 13 year old! Thanks for sharing--great post!

  5. I just stumbled across your pink're amazing! Grace and Atomic Fireballs...I love how you see so much in so little. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you so much for visiting!


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