We’re in Target, and my 15-year-old son is asking to buy the Foo Fighters and Rage Against the Machine (“Explicit Lyrics” the package label screams). I hesitate, and this is where I have trouble with this job of motherhood.
“OK,” I say, “But that CD includes explicit lyrics and, for the record, I am probably going to disapprove of some of them because they are really inappropriate. OK? I don’t really care if you buy the CD. I just needed to tell you that. It’s my job.”
The truth is, I don’t care if he listens to explicit lyrics. I know I should say no; a lot of my friends who have fairly strict rules with their kids would have tossed the CD right back onto the rack. This is why I find the job to be so hard. I know saying yes isn’t good mom behavior. But, I’d rather expose him to bands like RATM under my supervision than have him discover them in a time or place where I’d have little influence. My husband and I are fairly liberal about what the boys watch and listen to, but we don’t let them do it in isolation. We share the interest, encourage questions, and cultivate critical thinking.
Days like today make me miss my mother-in-law and my grandmother. Recently, I realized that my grandmother left me a gift that I hadn’t fully appreciated. I’ve got the Drexel bedroom furniture that she bought when she got married more than 70 years ago. There are only three pieces: a full-size bed, chest of drawers and a dresser with mirror. When I give people the tour of my house, I always point it out. It means something to me to have it; my grandmother and I were very good friends (we spent a lot of time together shopping). She thought it important for every married couple to start out with a new bedroom set. She was always disappointed that I didn’t buy one right away (actually, it took us 15 years, and by then it was too late for her to see it).
I’ve recently discovered that I look best in Grandma’s mirror. I’m not sure why, but I seem to drop 15 pounds standing in front of it. Lately, I’ve been wondering if Grandma has managed to work a little magic from wherever she is. She must have observed me on a few of my recent trips to Ann Taylor. I miss her when in the stores. She always gave great advice about what to wear and what to buy. It’s nice to think that she’s still by my side, telling me that I’m doing ok and how great I look in that outfit. Thanks, Gram, and Happy Mother’s Day.