Throughout my teenage years, I believed my parents were the most annoying people on the planet. If they had a life, there wouldn’t be time for them to smother me. Where are you going? When will you be home? Call me when you arrive. I was almost seventeen, practically an adult. I did not need anyone looking over my shoulder. What right did they have to run my life?
My parents’ names held the number one position on my mental list of crazy people. Their names remained there until my first child was born. I might have second-guessed my original thought pattern while I was still pregnant.
Most mornings, I remained in bed waiting for my unborn child to move. Once he squirmed around (a reaction of non-stop poking by his mother), I got dressed and then called my obstetrician’s office with some off-the-wall question. My favorite question: Can freezer-burned waffles hurt the baby? (True question).
When my third son was born, four years later, my doctor announced a change to her practice. She was no longer delivering babies. I’m sure your thinking it’s a coincidence. Truthfully, she admitted that I played a small role in her decision. In addition to the high cost of medical malpractice insurance, it turns out crazy, pregnant women were tough to deal with. At that point, my parents’ names dropped to the number two position on my crazy list. I can pretend my doctor’s name replaced theirs, but we all know my name held the number one position.
Not much has changed since the birth of my oldest son. Last week he took his senior pictures. When the photographer called him into the room for the photograph session, I tagged along. I thought they would take pictures and I would pick the photos I liked best. Turns out it wasn’t JC Penny. The staff directed all conversation toward my son, leaving me time to look around the room. To my horror, I realized I was the only parent who had accompanied their child into the studio. It explained cars filled with adults in the parking lot.
The next item on our to-do list is a college search. My son’s SAT test was this weekend. I armed him with two sharpened pencils, fresh batteries for his graphing calculator and a snack. He did not take the snack. Instead, he looked at me (the way teenagers look at their parents) and said, “Really? You expect me to carry a brown-bagged lunch with me.”
The realization that I have once again boarded the crazy train does not discourage me. Rather, I take satisfaction in knowing that one day my son will understand my position (either because he is a loving parent or a medical imbalance is diagnosed). I would rather learn to sever the umbilical cord now than have campus security ask me to remove the foldaway bed I have set up in my son’s dorm room.
It may take decades for my name to drop a spot on my son’s mental crazy list. One day he will realize love drove me there. There is no one in the world his father and I love more than him and his two brothers. As far as my parents, I am grateful they love me enough to take an active role in my life. Mom and Dad, your names now take the number one spot on my mental list of the greatest parents in the world.
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facebook: Katie McKnight, Author page