I realized yesterday that I had spent more money at Starbucks in the last ten years than most people spend in a lifetime.
I wish I were kidding.
I was there, at Starbucks, ordering my drink…
And it hit me.
Every day for (give or take not including weekends, holidays, or days-off, of course) for approximately the last TEN years that I had been picking my boys up after school, I had also brought them a snack. Not only a snack (wait for it) but a snack from Starbucks: drinks, food… cake pops, lemon loaves, strawberry frappes…you name it. I liked to mix it up. Oh, and I always ordered something for myself, of course.
I know, it’s obnoxious.
You are all disgusted with my parenting, judging me horribly.
But you know what?
I’d do it again if I had the choice. I’d do it again and again…
And no, they didn’t need a snack. The boys never once asked for it. Ok, that’s a lie, I created monsters! By the 2nd grade, if I didn’t show up with a “snack de jour,” they were pissed AF. My bad, I know this! And sure, the car ride from school to my house was only 20 minutes. But when I initially began this insane bullshit, the ride was long; we lived further away from school! They were starving, it was a long day, and their blood sugar was low! And yes, when they got a bit older, they could have waited, or the snack could have been Goldfish crackers and a juice box (and sometimes it was, ok?) And I even “forgot” a couple of days, but boy did I get a ration of shit! Haha.
But I liked being “that Mom.”
Not only did I enjoy bringing them a Starbucks treat every day, but I made sure I was the VERY first car in the pick-up line. (Our school doesn’t have busses.) My friends made fun of me because I was so early, I’d sit and wait for 45 minutes, while they would show up on time and wait in the line like normal-functioning humans with lives.
Nope! Not me! I was the very first car. Always.
Ok, occasionally, I was later. But it was rare.
If I had to wait so they didn’t have to, then so be it.
I would take calls or do stuff on my phone. After all, I was a SAHM, and what the fuck else did I have to do? Wasn’t my “job” to be there when they finished their jobs? Ya, and I loved being the first person they saw when they finished their days. The first person they got to talk to, vent to… cry to instead of some babysitter or coming home to an empty house.
It made me so happy to be that person for them.
And sure, when my oldest got his license last year, I lost my job — fired, just like that!
I lost my job after ten years, so obviously, I was devastated.
Kindergarten through Sophomore year, I was their person. The last person they saw every morning at drop off, and the first person they got to talk to at the end of the day. On most days, not all. There were exceptions, sure. But for the most part, I got to spend those long drives to and from school with them, which was my most favorite time. We had a no-phone rule, so there was always music and lots of talking. Or fighting. But it was our time, just us.
Yes, I was “that Mom,” and I still am.
I think I’m the luckiest woman in the world to be able to coddle them and do the things I can do. Whether it’s making them breakfast every morning even though they can surely do it for themselves, or their laundry… or other stuff they “should be doing” at the ages of fifteen and seventeen.
You don’t think I know they SHOULD BE doing it?
I get it! But I’m a selfish bitch.
Cause here’s the thing. One day, like really soon… I won’t be able to do those things anymore because they will be gone.
And I do the things I do because I can’t do the countless hours of homework they have, nor can I take the SAT or stay late for baseball practice. I can’t navigate the muddy waters of their social lives, deal with the pain of breakups or take away the stress they feel day in and day out from trying to be the best they can be. They have teenage pressures to handle, to manage… all on their own. So, if I can alleviate just a little stress by microwaving some fucking Pizza Rolls, so be it. If they ask for my help, I’m going to be there to listen and validate their feelings. I try not to be a fixer; just let them feel “heard.” I try to be a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, and hopefully, they can come to their own conclusions.
Sometimes, they do. Other times, they struggle.
So, yesterday when I was ordering my drink at Starbucks, and I could barely make it to the car without losing my shit, I cut myself a little slack. Missing the days when my order would be so much bigger, more elaborate, I laughed and texted my Wasbund, “Mark, remember when I used to take the boys Starbucks to the pick-up line every day after school?” He chuckled and said, “Ya, Jen. How can I forget? I’m the one that paid the bill.”
Ha. I guess I’m “that Mom,” and he is totally “that Dad.” 😉