Sarcastically, I have proclaimed myself "mom of the year" many times on my parenting journey. There have been forgotten homework assignments, 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.
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 of 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.
A few years ago, 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. While I tried to pay for the bottle of cough syrup, Lucie broke loose and started climbing into the metal cage that holds the balls. Frantically, I threw some 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. 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 managed to wrap her legs around the bottom of the machine while 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 car seat.
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. When I show up for a classroom party, my kids parade me around like some sort of celebrity. As a 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 brought me 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!