Part Two: A Mother’s Olympics by Betty Mason Arthurs
Elementary School Track and Field
Track and Field experience is a must to help mothers through elementary years. You pole vault them over the first day of school with cute lunches, cute outfits, and cute sneakers. After the first week of school, piles of homework take over the kitchen table. Planetary science projects make you race 1000 meters to gather supplies before the store closes. By this age your training in begging God for divine help wins you the shot put competition…heave ho.
A close friend told me the story of her struggle with her lazy fourth grade daughter. Peggy’s darling never brought school work home and no amount of discipline ever moved her to change. The teacher and Peggy hatched up a scheme. For a week Peggy sat behind her daughter in her classroom. Vanessa wasn’t embarrassed enough to change. Years later Peggy found out her daughter told classmates, “Mommy’s doing research.” Mother’s revenge is on the move since Vanessa now has three daughters.
Use your Gold Medal winnings to buy yourself designer glasses because after long sessions of helping with illegible homework, if your child brings it home, your eyesight is shot.
Middle School Volleyball
Get ready to volley through the ups and downs of mood swings, yours and theirs. Serve them unconditional love every day even as you drop them off a block away from school because you are an embarrassing mother. Train them to spike the ball and block every cruel comment made about them by their peers.
I’ve heard some parents have used extreme sports to train their tweens. “If you behave badly at school I will attend school with you wearing my bathrobe and plaid socks with slippers.” Add purple sponge curlers to the outfit. Better yet, drop them off at the school’s front door, jumping out to hug and kiss them goodbye. Trust me, this is really fun so I’ve heard and may be very effective in behavior modification. I did many stupid, funny things to my kids and they still speak to me.
You deserve three Gold Medals for just competing in the Middle School event.
High School 800 Meter Relay
You should no longer call your kids “children.” They are high school young people about to set out on the race of their lives. You must expertly pass them the coveted baton for driving, for selecting a career, for finding a job, choosing a college, and not choosing a college. Keep calm if they desire a career as a rock climber, sky diver, or alligator wrestler. You may want to go on a cruise and send them off to live in the swamps of Florida with your brother. Not really, but it’s a nice thought. You haven’t competed all these years in Mom Olympics to give up on your babies, excuse me, young persons.
I am donating all my Gold Medals in loving memory to my beloved parents since they deserve them more than I do. Today I wonder how did my parents, Willard and Lois, married in 1936, remain sane after raising three children? My husband and I only raised two, who are miraculously fine, outstanding citizens. We passed them the batons and after training us in the world of PCs, they compete in their own Father and Mother Olympics.
Today, thanks to my two offspring birthing seven children, I am in Grandmother Olympics. Grandson Trevor was in third grade and he asked me, “Wanna see my report, Gammy? Wait! Can you read cursive?” I was a nincompoop 46 years-ago with my first newborn and it’s come back to dissolve my Olympic aspirations. Trevor and my other grandchildren, are also helping me navigate through the maze of internet events such as Facebook, e-mails, X-box, Kindles, Wifi, Netflix, Amazon, etc., etc. But the thrill of victory is near with super intelligent athletes known as Gold Medal Grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Will you share some of your special motherhood Olympic events with me? Memories and the ability to laugh at them brings healing, don’t you think?