The oy vey moments happen more often than you’d think… or maybe just more often than I am prepared for. Those moments when the kids say something that is the equivalent to an emotional sucker punch but, as parents, you have to keep your composure. As parents, you can’t let them see you sweat.
I am getting older. I get that and I am okie dokie with it. I am not pulling my hair out, I am not botoxing, I am not making appointments for facials, I am not pushing anything up or tucking anything else in. I am okay with me….age and all. It just is what it is. I did not have my children right out of high school. I waited. I went to college first and then I played the working game for a while. I had my first just before I turned thirty and I have never thought I was too old.
Lately, I can feel the creaks in my bones a bit more profoundly. I can see my gray if I put my reading glasses on and there was that moment when I was out running and I mistook the cat for a fox. In my own defense, I will say it is dark out at 5 a.m.
So, it happened again today. This afternoon after my kiddos came home. I should not have taken it as such a sucker punch but, in the moment as it happened and the unexpected words floated out of his mouth, it was hard not to. My youngest child was being all boy, using his ten year old boy brain, and the oy vey moment was so pronounced that it was all I could do to gather my breath and move on. He is lucky he is as cute as he is. His blue eyes have saved him on many occasions before this one.
The Oy-Vey-Moment went like this:
Little Man: Hey, Mom, I read this book today (which is a great line to tell mom since he was the one of my three who had the hardest time learning to read. He used to carry a book around just to be ‘seen’ with the book even though he could not read).
Mom: Awesome. What was it about?
Little Man: Well, you see, there’s this shark attack survivor and it takes place in 1916.
And, then he stops. Then the wheels roll into boy brain motion. For a moment he is silent as he ponders the thoughts rolling around on the wheel in his boy brain. Being the seasoned mom that I am I should have braced myself. I should have seen it coming at me. I could literally see his wheels turning and I should have been able to see the words forming and brace myself before the comment ever made its way out of his mouth. I should have. But I didn’t. I didn’t see it all until I heard it hit the air.
Continuing, he says…
Little Man: Mom, how old were you in 1916?
And there it was…floating into the world and out of his boy brain. And, he says it with the kind of innocence that means no one any harm. Kid naivete and the blue, blue eyes are what saved him. The same explosion of words might not have gone so well for my 15 year old but it was finessed by the boy.
And, while I am catching my breath, my fifteen year old, who gets how all of this works more than the ten year old, says, “How old did he just call you, Mom?” She is my math whiz with the IQ up in the stars and it does not take her long to calculate the jaw dropping facts, “Did he call you 96?”
And I can hear her and she is right but I am concentrating on breathing. Deep breath in and then exhale. Deep breath, exhale. Deep breath. Exhale. And quietly, without any sign of gruff, I say, “He did.” And we move on as calmly as possible, no ripples, with me licking my aging wounds because he is just a kid, a boy filled with boy brain at that, and he knows not what he does.
Age is just a number…right?
Ugghhhhh…..and that, my friends, is the sucker punch of parenting. No ill intentions and yet an Oy Vey moment nonetheless. I hope your day is much more sucker punchless than mine :).