Yesterday, J. and I played the part of The Cool Moms.
Sure, we didn't force our daughters to go to Astrocamp. Neither girl wanted to go, and we had other compelling reasons not to push the issue.
But even better, we took them to Disneyland.
We went on the rollercoasters with them, and the flight simulators, and the flume ride. We bought them lunch of their choosing, ice cream, a toy.
Indiana Jones (twice), the Matterhorn, Star Tours, Big Thunder Railroad, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean...you get the idea.
(We were uncool by making them go on Small World and singing the whole time. At that point, it was great fun watching them both be 12.)
Like me, J. has an older son, and we both know that the time is fast approaching when our daughters will no longer want to spend time with us. So, I was grateful for every precious hug the daughter gave me while we were standing in line (and even every objection she raised when I pushed her hair away from her eyes. Uncool!)
A. and the daughter both are far more childlike than a lot of their peers. The daughter has her crushes, but they are so innocent and sweet to watch. She is still young enough to be completely enthralled with the Star Wars foam dart gun she purchased with her own funds. (I've long since given up on the "guns are not toys" campaign. They got enough of it when they were really little to know how I feel about it, but there is only so much resistance one can maintain when one's son is creating guns out of plastic vegetables. Seriously. Carrots and broccoli. God knows what it shot...peas, probably.)
"Are you having fun?" the daughter kept asking with a tiny note of worry in her voice.
"I'm having a great time," I told her, and she would lean in for another hug, then draw back, appalled, when I touched her hair.
Obviously, she, too, senses that this time is ending.
I've been incredibly fortunate to be at home with my children. That doesn't mean it's easy, and when I started working from home, it became even less so. When I went back to the office for a couple of years, things headed toward epic FAIL for all the reasons I'd left corporate life in the first place. The daughter, who was initially so excited to have a working-in-an-office mom, was immediately disenchanted the first night I wasn't home to kiss her before bed.
It didn't take me long to see how fast they changed when they were small. Although the early months seemed endless, before I knew it, night feedings were over. Then they were walking. Then they were talking back to me. Forming obsessions with small toys. Starting school.
Yesterday, I reminded the daughter of the trip to Disneyland long ago, when I couldn't get her off the carousel. She rode it for an hour, hopping off one animal, exiting, and running right straight back through the line to ride again. She laughed when I recounted that tale, but didn't spare the carousel a second glance.
It's been a good week, all around. Today we went grocery shopping, and I let her get cookies from the bakery counter. I never actually think of going there; I make my own for heaven's sake! But she was happy to choose her three cookies. And since A. is spending the day with us tomorrow while her mother is in a meeting, I told the daughter to choose things for pizza, that I would make dough tomorrow morning, teach them how to roll it out and let them make their own pizzas for lunch.
Today, we split a can of refried beans, garnishing them with cheese and onions and hot sauce, and then we settled in to watch an episode of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency. She clutched my arm when the evil and abusive Note Mokoti made his appearance. We are very fond of traditionally-built Precious Ramotswe.
After lunch and the ladies, we turned on Australia. We are also very fond of Hugh Jackman.
The time passes too quickly, and before I know it, the daughter and A. will both be in college, instead of plotting their applications to the arts high school. That in itself is still two years away. It's possible that in time my beloved daughter will drift away from me, that our only contact will be cards at Christmas, a phone call at Mother's Day. I hope this is not the case. I'm doing everything in my power now to ensure it won't be.
It's a good time to be The Cool Mom.
Go listen to some good music: "Time We Had" from the album Kiss the Crystal Flake by The Mother Hips.