I remember when my kids were little and they thought that I was all-powerful. I could make bumped heads feel better with a kiss, I knew the answers to almost every question they asked, and I always knew exactly what could make them laugh.
I was amazing back then.
But now, even though my kids are convinced that I know nothing and they know with the utmost certainty that I have no super powers, I am—seemingly—still responsible for everything…including the weather.
Yesterday morning my 16-year-old snapped at me because it was only going to be 63 degrees – in April! In Chicago! Instead of the unseasonably warm temperatures that we had been having of late it was going to be a normal April day. And that was somehow my fault.
“Mom,” my son yelled from the top of the stairs. “Is it warm today?”
“It’s supposed to be about 60 degrees,” I responded as I walked upstairs.
“What?!” he shrieked. “60 degrees. Why?” he asked, shooting me an accusing stare. “Why?”
I actually felt guilty for a second, as if I really did have something to do with the temperature.
This was on the heels of the “why do you make me go to school at 8:15?” accusation. At the time, part of me wondered if it was, indeed, within my control to set the start time for school.
I had to shake that one off as well.
I let him rant about the injustice of his 16-year-old, suburban life and chalked up his mood swing to a lack of sleep or a hormone imbalance or whatever teenage issue was pushing out any shred of logic or reason in his brain.
I said nothing because I knew that anything I said could and would be used against me on the 8-minute car ride to school. Besides, I clearly needed more coffee to endure another onslaught.
But he was not done.
“It’s Wednesday,” he grunted just one minute into the car ride.
I noticed him turning toward me and I could feel him glaring at me accusingly. Was he really going to blame me for it being Wednesday?
“Why do I have to go to school on Wednesdays?” he asked, his voice rising in disbelief.
I laughed. Out loud. Actually it was more of a guffaw.
But really, what else is there to do when your kid poses such a ridiculous question?
Even if I said, “You don’t need to go to school on Wednesdays anymore,” he would just respond with, “Well, if I don’t go on Wednesday then Thursday would become Wednesday so then Thursdays would suck.” And so on, and so on, and so on.
He didn’t see the humor in all of this but that didn’t matter. Parenting, for me, is all about perception; that is, how I perceive the situation. A good spin can make anything look better. And boy was I going to spin this one—it was either that or bang my head against the steering wheel.
We finally made it to the school without further incident (well, there was that moment when he got mad at the people walking their dogs on the sidewalk so slowly, but at least he didn’t blame me for that).
As he got out of the car he looked at me and shook his head (because I was still smirking, of course). “You are so moody,” he said. And with that, he was off.
Ah, if only I was all-powerful…