Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trying to be a Roll Down the Windows Kind of Mom

I just started reading a new book, Every Day by David Levithan. Every day, the main character wakes up in a different person's body. "Every day I am someone else. I am myself-I know I am myself-but I am also someone else. It has always been like this."

I am only at the very beginning of the book, but already, it has made me think. In the first chapter, the main character is in 16 year old Justin's body. He is with his girlfriend, Rhiannon, and they are in the car. She, of course, just thinks she is with Justin.

She asks me what I think, and I tell her, "Honestly, I'm just trying to live day by day."
It isn't enough, but it's something. We watch the trees, the sky, the signs, the road. We sense each other. The world, right now, is only us. We continue to sing along. And we sing with the same abandon, not worrying too much if our voices hit the right notes or the right words. We look at each other while we're singing; these aren't two solos, this is a duet that isn't taking itself at all seriously. It is our own form of conversation-you can learn a lot about people from the stories they tell, but you can also know them from the way they sing along, whether they like the windows up or down, if they live by the map or by the world, if they feel the pull of the ocean.

Do you drive with the windows up or down? Do you sing out loud? I'm more of a windows up, radio not blaring, and sing quietly to myself. But not my kids. Every day, I pick up my kids in carline at school, Ryan jumps in the front seat, changes the radio to his station, hits the window button and as it starts to move to the down position, he sings! He sings out loud for the world to hear! Sometimes, I'll have a car full of kids, a song will come onto the radio and everyone will join in, and just like Justin and Rhiannon in the book, they don't worry too much if their voices hit the right notes or the right words. These are lessons that I need to learn from my kids. I don't need to hit the right note and the right word all the time. As a mom, I am always trying to do the right thing by them; feed them good meals, get all their homework done, read everyday, get them to clean their rooms and do chores around the house and try to get them to understand that I am not the maid and that they need to learn to do things for themselves. But sometimes we need to let go. Sometimes we need to let them eat chips at lunch and know that's okay. Sometimes we need to let them stay up late to watch the big game even though it's a school night. Sometimes we need to drive with the windows down, music blaring, and sing out loud for all to hear. Even last night at the dinner table, Ryan broke out into song which then turned into a duet. 

Last night, I picked up my last kid from basketball at 9:30. It was a beautiful night! The car read that it was still 76 degrees, clear sky, the stars were out, and I was in a short sleeve shirt and was comfortable. While I was driving, Darius Rucker's new song, Wagon Wheel, came on the radio, yes, I like country music. Every time I hear this song, I wish I still had a toddler because I would be dancing around the house with that toddler in my arms, dancing and twirling. It just sounds like that kind of song to me. But now whenever that song comes on the radio, it is me and Molly that turn up the volume and sing out loud together. I am trying to learn to be a little more of a windows rolled down kind of person. 

This morning, I went through the mail and in my Real Simple  magazine, there were six photos honoring moms for Mother's Day. This mom is a "stick your head out the sunroof" kind of mom. Her daughter wrote, "She just spontaneously burst through the sunroof." It made me smile!

I watched this music video of Wagon Wheel yesterday and there were the Nealons' favorite Duck Dynasty Family in the video...another smile.

So today it's supposed to get close to 90 degrees. I think I'll take Chris' Jeep out, roll the windows down, and sing out loud with the kids...heeeeeey mama, rock me!

And just another share...I was at the book fair today and bought an updated grammar book to use as a reference. Chris' Jeep is now incorrect. The "modern" way is Chris's Jeep. I don't know, it's hard enough trying to be a "roll down the windows" kind of gal, not so sure about this grammar change.

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