I just realized today that I actually like my kids.
No, really. I truly like my kids. I find myself choosing to be with them, not just because I’m their mom and they can’t do something or go somewhere without me. No, I choose to be with them more often than not. And that sort of surprised me today.
Now that summer is here we have many opportunities to go out and do fun things. Some are more fun for me than they are for them I suppose, but then again, they are willing to go along so they must not hate it. Some of those activities are farmers markets and antique shows, musical performances in local parks or bike outings around the area. I love that kind of stuff in the summer! Just a reason to meander around, eat different foods, listen to a local band, have a picnic dinner… (sigh)
The idea came to me today when my oldest texted me asking if he can hang out with his friend after he gets off of work (he’s 16 and has his first real, full-time job this summer) I of course said “sure”, but then I sent a follow up text that read: “So no farmers market then?” Which was followed up immediately with “No big deal just asking”
Wow. Am I his girlfriend or his mother?
True to his personality, he responded by texting “Oh crap that’s right. Nah I’m going to that”.
I felt instantly guilty.
“Honestly it’s not a big deal if you don’t go, it’s happening every week” but I knew as soon as I sent it that it was a kind of a big deal – to me. I wanted him to go. I wanted all three of them to come along and enjoy the experience with me, to watch them eat their favorite tacos or try new foods.
I needed them to go.
I must really like my three boys.
I realized at that moment that I not only like my kids but I pretty much prefer being with them than most adults at this point in my life. We share the same sense of humor, we have the same quirky tastes in food and fun, we talk about things that are important to each of us but overlap with each other at the same time. We fit together like a puzzle.
You can’t say that about most of your friends by the time you’re in your forties. At least I can’t. Don’t misunderstand, I like having grown-up friends to hang out with and to do adult activities often. I don’t go to a bar with my kids or take them to R-rated movies – then again, sometimes I make poor parenting choices and watch a movie with them that they probably shouldn’t be watching, but who hasn’t crossed that line during their parenting career? But I do take them to concerts and fairs, farmers markets and flea markets, new restaurants and road trips to see odd sights.
I like having other women as friends to talk about “girl stuff”and family challenges, and having guy friends to talk about life in general, but I really enjoy being around my kids. Given the choice, most days I would choose them over most other invitations even if it is to just stay home and hang out.
Other people like my kids, why shouldn’t I?