Sarcastically, I have proclaimed myself “Mom of the Year” many times on my parenting journey. There have been forgotten homework assignments, the nights the tooth fairy has accidentally skipped our house, and the time it totally slipped my mind to send in the note allowing my daughter to stay after school for Girl Scouts. The look on her face as she slumped off the bus was enough to grant me the lifetime achievement award.
I would do anything for my children. Recently, I was found crawling on my hands and knees in the middle of the grocery store looking for a lost toy. Those days that I sit clutching the armrest of the chair with a smile on my face as my four year old brushes my hair, gives me the right to say that I am pretty good at this job. These instances should make up for the fact that sometimes I forget to carry an extra outfit with me and many a runny nose has been wiped with the inside hem of my shirt. Unlike all those uber-prepared moms, and my mother-in-law, I don’t always have a tissue on me or a complete wardrobe in the trunk of my car.
There was a day a few years back when I dragged three sick kids under the age of 5 to the grocery store for cough syrup. My four year old, Lucie, saw a display of balls. She asked, and I said no. Lucie is my stubborn one and some might dare to call her a spoiled brat. She ran through the store screaming about those darn balls that I wasn’t going to buy for her. After I chased her up and down three aisles while dragging the other two after me, I was finally able to get to the cash register. As I tried to pay for the bottle of cough syrup, Lucie broke loose and started climbing into the the cage that stores the balls. I threw my money at the cashier and told her to just keep the change. It is really hard to pry little determined fingers off of something they want, especially when they are not afraid to kick and scratch. It is even harder to do when you notice that a small crowd has gathered to watch the show. There were balls everywhere, but at this point, I didn’t care anymore. Finally, I was at the double doors carrying Lucie upside down while pushing the cart I threw the other two in. All of a sudden, she noticed the gumball machines and she flipped out of my arms like a slippery eel. The balls were long forgotten as she somehow wrapped her legs around the bottom of the machine screaming for a quarter. I don’t know how I did it, but I pried her off of the machine and wrangled her into the cart. I think her poor sister was kicked a few times, but we were finally in the parking lot headed for the car. The crowd of onlookers were still watching as I wrestled Lucie into her carseat. Boy, did I feel like the Mom of the Year that day.
Some mornings my little ones run inside to get one more hug and kiss before the school bus comes. Kissing hands and butterfly kisses are given by the dozen around here. When I show up for a classroom party, my kids parade me around like some sort of celebrity. As their little hand reaches up to hold mine, I realize that to my kids I am always the Mom of the Year.
I am proud to bear this title, on my good days, bad days, and those embarrassing days too. Nobody is perfect and as moms no one is as critical of us as were are of ourselves. We need to celebrate our successes and laugh about those trying times. Looking back, I can smile at the thought of Lucie climbing into the ball cage. It might not have been my shining parenting moment, but it was one step closer to where I am today.
We are all on this journey together. Let’s all stand tall and tell the world that each and every one of us is the Mom of the Year!