I always wanted to be the cool mom, but let’s face it — it’s HARD WORK to be the cool mom. You have to endure loud kids, who are almost always smelly. You have to endure conversations that make you want to scream “NEITHER OF YOU ARE RIGHT, SO QUIT ARGUING!” You might even have to endure the occassional projectile sneeze… just keeping it real, folks.
When chronic pain decided to set up camp in my body, being the cool mom was the least of my worries. I could’ve cared less what my kid’s friends thought of me, but I did still secretly want to be the mom that MY kid adored and cherished because I had “cool” qualities. So this school year I decided to do things a little differently.
I decided to be the carpool mom.
With 4 middle school boys in the car.
Every single school day.
Yes, I have reevaluated this decision multiple times.
Some days I lock out the window buttons so I can control how much longer we keep them all down on the highway. Some days I hum to myself to block out the high-pitched-not-yet-matured-screeching-voices. Sometimes I think the Vice Principal thinks I’m high or drunk because I just smile while the 4 boys stand outside of the minivan and fight over who is going to sit where. (Yesterday I lost my cool and SHOUTED at them while I was trying to move up and they were all trying to get in! One of the teachers laughed hysterically. It’s ok lady, I know you think I’m one shoelace away from the nuthouse.)
But guess what else happens sometimes?
Sometimes I have tears in my eyes (not from the smell… well, maybe from that too) because they are hysterical and tell the funniest jokes! Sometimes I am so incredibly touched by the way they console each other after a bad grade or losing something precious to them at school. Sometimes I “go there” with them and entertain fart jokes and even fart apps. On Fridays we have “Fun Drink Friday” and I treat them to a Slurpee or fountain drink at 7-11.
Over time, without even knowing it — I started to become the cool mom in the eyes of my son. He offers other kids a ride home because he knows there’s some fun to be had in our minivan. I hear the boys telling their friends “It’s FRIDAY — do you know what that means in OUR carpool?!?!?” I’ve gotten to hear about the ins and outs of what’s happening in Middle School without having to BE there to endure 700 middle schoolers… just 4. And for the record, God bless Middle School teachers — can we all take a knee for a moment and lift them in prayer?
My son and I started reading Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder together and I “get” the majority of the humor after hanging with “my boys” each day for 30+ minutes. Last night we had dinner with my parents and when I saw the look on my son’s face when he shared (at the dinner table no less) what we have been reading together — it wasn’t a look of “look what I’m getting away with!” — it was a look of “my mom is SO cool because she reads this with me!” … and I think part of me is still at Scotty P’s in a puddle on the floor because I melted when I saw that look on his face.
- Be a hero in your kid’s life.
- “Go there” with their humor sometimes so you can understand where they are in their lives.
- Set boundaries (we have already had to pull over twice this year in carpool!) because kids then know where the safe zone is and they RELISH it!
And if you sign up to be the carpool mom just have your phone handy to record some amazingly hysterical audio. One of my favorite conversations revolved around college savings accounts. Apparently every kid has one, and college is already paid for! — My husband and I just laughed and rolled our eyes (yes, I have an audio recording of that conversation). Sorry son, yes – you have a college savings account but dear child, only ONE SEMESTER is paid for! HAHAHAHA! What kind of degree do you think he can get after one semester? Hmmmm, maybe that’s conversation for Fun Drink Friday today!
Go forth and be cool.
If you’re already cool, tell us about it! What do you do that makes you the cool mom? (or dad)