Being a Cool Mom

24 years ago, I became a mom. I couldn't wait to be a mom. Arguably, I should have waited a little longer, but I didn't used to be very good at following rules. When I became a mom, I had really high hopes for the kind of relationship I would have with my daughters. I wanted my girls to grow up to be my best friends. I wanted us to do cool, fun things together. I thought, kind of like Amy Poehler's character in Mean Girls, that I would not be a regular mom, but a cool mom.

I would not be like my mom. All mom-ish. I have always been really close to my mom while simultaneously not close at all to my mom. I don't tell her secrets. Especially as a teen. I love my mom. She lives with me -- that's how much I love her -- but we aren't friends. I never wanted to hang out with her. I didn't think she was cool. She was my mom. I loved her in a mom way.

I wanted one of those mythical mother/daughter relationships that transcended into friendship with my girls. My beautiful girls who I spoiled and spa-treated and shopped for and with. My girls with their highlights and Ugg boots and whatever else they wanted. My girls who could always come to me with their secrets and heartbreaks and I would be ready with a smile or hug or encouraging word. I didn't anticipate that my daughters would roll their eyes at me like I rolled my eyes at my mom.

And my son. My beloved, prayed-for, adored and worshiped son. The one who inquired at three if he could marry me after his own father's death. The one who picked every dandelion in the yard to make me the most beautiful bouquet. The one who crept into our room in the middle of the night to slip his little body next to mine every night despite his dad deeming him TOO OLD to sleep next to his mama. The one who I never in a million years dreamed would ever stop adoring me until one day he did.

I don't get it. I'm so much cooler than my mom was. Why wouldn't they want to hang out with me? Or with Brad. Who doesn't want to hang out with us? We're so much fun.

Though far from perfect, I have great relationships with my kids. In all honestly they're really only marred by comparison and my own mind telling me what they "could" or "should" be. It would be kinda weird if P crawled his lanky self into bed with us now. And my girls do want to hang out with me. They just have their own friends too.

Here's what I continue to learn after reading, studying and even writing a damn book about mother/daughter relationships; They're hard. Even when you're cool. Even when you're young. Even when you're a great mom. Even when you're self-aware and read a bunch of books and go to therapy and own your behavior and admit your mistakes and try always try to do better.

Here's what else I'm learning: Expectations will fuck you over every single time. Embrace what is. Enjoy what is. Don't let what could be suck the joy out of your experiences. Tony Robbins says, "Trade your expectations for appreciation." Yes, big man!

Today, I appreciate the amazing woman who made me a mom 24 years ago. She shattered any dreams I had of who she would grow up to be. She and her siblings taught me more about myself and life than all the books I've ever read. Getting to be their mom is my greatest gift, biggest challenge, and most significant accomplishment....even if those fools don't appreciate how cool I am.

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