By Valerie Mann
As the mother of five children, I have paid my dues. I’ve changed more diapers than I can wrap my math-challenged brain around. I’ve wiped more butts and noses and puke than I care to think about.
I’ve paid for my orthodontist’s tropical vacation for several years running. I’ve gone to way too many parent-teacher conferences, dealt with doctor visits, ER visits, led Girl Scout troops, taught Sunday School, made carb-filled goodies for bake sales. Hosted birthday parties, slumber parties, campouts. Dealt with angry teachers, principals and police officers (because two of my daughters thought that totaling cars wasn’t fun enough, they had to total them when the drivers of the other cars were police officers. Yeah, I know…).
I’ve gone on search missions for contraband (both legal and illegal), picked lice out of hair, and gone to bat with mothers of children who should have been locked up (not my first brand of punishment, mind you) for picking on my kids. I’ve carpooled. Everywhere.
I’m a mom. This is what moms do. This is what I signed up for when I decided to procreate with the man of my dreams. And he’s hot, so sometimes procreation was simply the result of plain old fun.
I’ve got two boys in high school. One daughter living at home and attending college. One daughter living in another state, working full-time and going to college full-time. Couldn’t be prouder of any of them.
Then there’s the firstborn. Genius level IQ, very creative, pretty, outgoing. And not a lick of common sense. Where this fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants child came from, we haven’t figured out. At 28-years of age, she should be settling down. Oh no, this kid is just getting started. From a distance, it’s troubling but we can live with it. She was raised in the same pack of wolves as the rest of the pups, so I didn’t feel badly when I told her she’s on her own. And she has been since she was 22. But…
She’s back. After a bad experience with roommates and a particularly anguished phone call on Mother’s Day morning, I let my guard down and told her she could come home for a couple of weeks. When is Mother’s day? Oh yeah, early May. You do the math.
A recent statistic I read said that 75% of adult children will move home at some point. I hate it when I’m a statistic. Why can’t I be that one in one hundred million chances of winning lottery statistic?
But, I’m a mom. This is what moms do. And I will continue to do it…while earnestly praying that I can be a mom from a distance again. Because at some point, they’ve all got to grow up. Right?