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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tonight I Turned Into My Mother

Tonight I narked on a bunch of teenagers who snuck into our neighborhood pool.

Let the implications of what I just wrote sink in for a minute. Let my utter uncoolness come into focus. Let the cringing begin.

Picture this, if you will: I am relaxing with my family at the pool, just sitting down to eat a delivered-hot-at-the-pool pizza, when through the gate comes a posse of homies ready to take over the pool. Okay, maybe not so much homies as awkward highschoolers, but you get my drift, right? Or am I just getting less cool by the minute? Anyhow...

I immediately recognize the boy with the key as the same boy who tried to get in a few weeks ago when he "forgot" his key. Our HOA board members told me about him and his friends, mentioned that they have not paid their dues, and asked me to make sure that they don't come and use the pool. Trying not to be a complete fuddy-duddy, I choose to ignore them and pretend like I don't see them.

In a matter of seconds they have commandeered the pool and are doing 20 cannonballs per minute, turning our calm neighborhood swimming hole into the Drake Passage. At this point, I am only slightly irritated, hoping that by the time we finish our butter-soaked bread pizza the novelty will have worn off and they will have calmed down a bit. 

No such luck. As my kids finish up and want to go swim again, I look over at the pool to see waves big enough to scare the crabbers on Deadliest Catch, and I instruct my kids to stay in the shallow end, far away from the giant children. They are good swimmers, but in waves that size I worry a bit, obviously.

About this time, as I am putting on my 4-year-old's swim vest, I hear one of the teenage kids yell, "JESUS!" And no, he wasn't having a moment of worship. There are very few things in this world that truly bother or offend me, but that is one of them. Especially with my kids present.

So you will understand why my irritation turns to anger as my son yells out, "JESUS," in true myna-bird fashion. Nice.

I am pretty perturbed at this point, not only over the swearing and the gigantic waves and the rough-housing, but also over the fact that my short-but-sweet family night is disintegrating before my eyes. So what do I do? Only what any patriotic, dues-paying Homeowner's Association member would do if in my shoes - I call the head board member and rat them out.

And in that moment, as though I am Cinderella and my fairy godmother has cast a spell on me, I turn into my mother.

Oh, there have been glimpses of my mother in me for years and years; however, it wasn't until today that it became unofficially official.

There I stood, a 30-year-old mom of three in a one-piece swim dress, calling the pool meister and getting a bunch of teenagers in trouble for doing something I probably did at their age.

And I liked it.

I don't mean that to sound cold or callous, but on some sick and twisted level, I liked narking on those kids.

They were messing with my babies, so when my mama bear instincts kicked in, I reacted. Right or wrong...I don't completely know. But one thing is for sure - I wanted to protect my children.

My mother would have done the same thing.

For years I fought becoming my mother. Although she was, and is, amazing, I think that every young woman fights to be different, somehow desiring her own identity apart from the woman she calls Mother, no matter how great or how awful her mother is.

My mother couldn't bake garlic bread without forgetting about it and burning it to a crisp, resulting in a smoke-filled kitchen and a wailing smoke alarm that probably woke the neighbors. I made it a goal to NEVER be so careless...I mean, how hard could it be?

My mother is was always covered in bruises. Not scary, D-FACS-type bruises, but the kind one gets when missing a step and falling, or running into a light pole. She often talked about what an eyesore they were, so in my mind they were ugly and embarrassing and a physical reminder of clumsiness. I made it a goal to NEVER be so clumsy...I mean, how hard could it be?

My mother kills everything computer-related that she touches. She'll swear that she didn't "do anything," but somehow she has managed to wipe out more hard drives, lose more documents, and attract more viruses than I thought was humanly possible. I can't tell you the number of times I've called her, only to hear her answer my question of "what are you doing" with "I am waiting on a phone call back from a Mac genius to help me fix my ____." I made it a goal to NEVER be so technically-challenged...I mean, how hard could it be?

Now I am thirty. I burn the garlic bread more often than I get it right. There is rarely a time when I am not sporting at least one or two deep-purple bruises on my arms or legs. I recently "synced" my iPhone with my laptop only to somehow lose all of my contact data, leaving me with a thousand random numbers and no names to put with them.

And today I narked on a bunch of teenagers who snuck into our neighborhood pool.

I could not be prouder.

You see, there is no one I'd rather be like than my mother. With every year that passes, and every new stage of life I enter, I realize that becoming like Lindsay Baker is something to strive for, not something to run from. 

She is the godliest woman I have ever known; by the grace of God may the same be said of me one day.

She is the wisest woman I have ever known; by the grace of God may the same be said of me one day.

She is the loveliest woman I have ever known; by the grace of God may the same be said of me one day (although I am going to say that this one will be a reach for me).

She epitomizes the woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31...

Excellent.  
Precious.  
Trustworthy. 
Hardworking. 
Providing. 
Strong. 
Tireless. 
Generous. 
Prepared. 
Crafty. 
Inventive. 
Dignified. 
Fearless. 
Wise. 
Kind. 
Caring. 
Excellent.  

To name a few of her incredible traits.

By her example, I have realized what it means to be a Christ-follower, a daughter of the King, and a mother to my three precious children. Now, more than anything, I desire to leave the same legacy of faith, love, and motherhood with my children, because I finally realize just how invaluable a gift that legacy is. My mother fought for me, and still does to this day. And I am beyond thankful.

By the way, my mom also loves to laugh. She can laugh at herself, and, as Proverbs 31 says, at the days to come. I think she's the one who gave me my sense of humor, and it's because of her that I can find humor in the ordinary things of life. I am thankful for a mother I can laugh with. And at.

Tonight I will leave you all with a gift for my mother. Don't ever say I didn't give you anything.




Feel free to laugh!