I'm writing this without telling my mom about it first, knowing she'll laugh, but also have one eyebrow raised, lips pursed into a smirk, and a continual "mmmmmm huh...I see how it is" demeanor whilst reading it.
I love my mom. She's incredibly generous. She gives so much of herself to others. She's fun to hang out with. But, y'all...sometimes she's crazy.
You know when you're a kid and your parents tell you, "Go get a jacket," and you're like, "What? Why?" because it's like 90 degrees outside. They say you're cold and you say you're not. But, see, THEY'RE cold so you MUST be cold, too. It's like parental ESP. Or at least, they think it is. Or like, you're eating lunch and they tell you to eat another sandwich and you insist you couldn't possibly fit another crumb into your body and they keep at it saying, "You're going to be hungry in an hour." In reality, you won't be because you're a child and ate two adult-sized portions of lunch, but "Mother knows best" and if you they say you're hungry, you're hungry. And you respond with things like, "It's my body. I know what's up!" They always throw out this line, "I knew you before you even knew what anything was. I know you better than you know yourself!" That may be true up until we're 2 or 3, but come on, parents, you can't use it anymore.
And you think it'll kind of fade away when you are an adult and have your own kids. NO. It's compounded by 1,000,000. Because now, not only do they "know" everything about you...they know everything about your kids, too.
You know how people say you never stop worrying about your kids. Our parents worry about us all throughout childhood and college and into adulthood. I mean, we're their kids. Then, we have kids and not only do they have to worry about us, but our mini-me's, too. And no one can take as good of care of our kids as the grandparents can. Because, we're just children ourselves...how could we possibly keep another one alive?
I still get an occasional phone call at 9 pm..."Ruth, go to bed. You're tired." But mainly, it's phone calls like this...(and I realize all of this comes from a place of a deep and abiding love for my children, her grandchildren.)
Mom: "Ruth, you know the girls can turn doorknobs. I just read an article about a little boy that drowned in the toilet. Keep the bathroom doors shut."
Ruth: "WHAT?! Kids can turn doorknobs?! They have opposable thumbs, too?! Well, golly, if I had known this, it would have changed my whole perspective on having kids. What to do what to do..."
(We've had childproof doorknob things on all the doors for over a year)
Mom: "Ruth, make sure you put really high SPF on the girls when they're outside. Don't let them get blistered." (My grandfather calls and says the same thing)
Ruth: "Hey, a good sunburn gives a good tan. And my kids can't win Little Miss Prissy Pageant Pants without a good tan. No SPF in this house!"
Mom: "Ruth, be careful when you let them play with water in the cups outside. They could drown."
Ruth: "Drown? In a cup? They can't even reach their hand inside the cup. I don't understand how they're going to end up face down in it. "
Mom: "Awww, Ruth, don't tell those babies 'no'...they are so sweet. You give them what they want. Ruth, don't give those babies whatever they want or they'll end up spoiled. Aw, Ruth, let them have more chocolate. Look at those faces. Ruth, don't let them have too much chocolate or they'll end up with diabetes."
Ruth: "I'm sorry, what? All I heard was 'chocolate.'
I stopped responding all smarty pants to her and now I just smile and say, "You're cute, Mom." And Mom constantly tells me she knows how good of a mom I am to the girls and usually follows it up with a "but make sure they wear socks at night or their toesies will get so cold."
I hear the love for your children's children is multiplied for each generation and I wouldn't have it any other way. And I just can't imagine anybody else's mom doing the same thing to them.