"Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh,
Totally motionless except for her heart.
Mud flowed up into Lump's pajamas.
She totally confused all the passing piranhas

She's lump, she's lump.
She's in my head. . .

Lump lingered last in line for brains
and the one she got was sorta rotten and insane!
Small thing's so sad that birds could land. . .
Is Lump fast asleep or rockin' out with the band?" - Presidents of the United States of America

I am such a lump.

I took Fifteen for a Moment to Saturday school today. The offense - smoking in the boys room? Hanging the Prinicpal's boxers from the flagpole? Nope, it was. . .I'm so ashamed. . .crying in the library. (note: author drips with sarcasm.)

During the friend-with-the-too-old-boyfriend saga (which has since resolved itself and all is right with the world again), which played out smack-dab in the aftermath of her grandfather's passing, she broke into tears one day in Spanish class. The teacher sent her to the guidance office. She sat waiting for twenty minutes before someone informed her that the counselor she was waiting for wasn't in.

Her English class had begun, but she was still quite distraught. She made her way to the library, where she sat crying for a while. She dried her eyes, regained her composure and waited for the bell to ring.

Her English teacher had notified the dean of her absence. I got the call in the middle of a funk of my own. "This is the dean and I have your daughter in my office. She skipped a class and will have to serve Saturday detention. If she'd left campus, we could expel her." While close, it's not verbatim, but I do remember noting the disappointment in her voice. I didn't argue. I talked to my daughter, decided she was okay, and wrote it on my calendar.

As I drove her in today, I kept thinking, "Why didn't I stand up for her?" And not because I took issue with driving her in on a Saturday, but because it was handled in such a cold and efficient manner, without regard for the fact that my daughter is a person. Zero tolerance and all (well, unless you're the Superintendent!)

I beat myself up over my personal shortcomings all the way home: I should have taken issue with the dean. I never did call my sister yesterday, it was her birthday. I wish I'd been in Houston to get my mom's cat out of the tree for her. I am such a lump!

Maybe, like a lump of silly putty, I'm just stretched a little thin lately. In the middle of yesterday's cat-in-the-tree saga, and while I was in Wal Mart for the second time in one day, Hey Nineteen called. "I called the dispatcher for the fire department near Grandma. Did they get there yet?"

"No. . .but thank you, son. Hey, is something wrong??"

"I can't talk about it. I am just a total screw-up." Click.

What was it now?? I wanted to call him back, but my phone was dead. The Kindergartner was looking for ways to spend her gift card and I had to pick up Fifteen from the mall and get home so she could get ready for a date and Fourteen needed help with an essay. By the time I got to call back, he'd left for class. I'd dropped the Mom-ball again.

I lay awake all night wondering what IT was. . .he'd gotten someone pregnant. . .he'd wrecked his motorcycle. . .he'd messed up his scholarship. . .with teenagers, the possibilities are endless. Short of his killing someone, I figured we'd work it out.

I called him this morning when I got in.

"The kitty has landed!"

"Oh, good."

"Okay, I was awake all night worrying about you. . .what is it? It's okay, you can tell me anything, I am braced."

"Mom, it wasn't anything. I just got yelled at. Don't worry about it."

Some days, being a mom makes me feel like my lumpy butt is being chewed by tiny teethy fish. And yet, with all of that mental activity, I still feel like a bit of a lump. Not really making much of a difference except in my own mind, confusing all of the passing piranhas. At least I can spell piranha. Piranha, piranha, piranha. . .ha ha ha!

Have fun!


Kathy said...

Oh Lara, I so feel your pain!
Most days no matter what I do, I feel like I'm a terrible Mom. I am forever blaming myself for my kid's unhappiness. I guess I'll never feel like I'll ever measure up to MY mom. She always seemed to have it all together. She STILL seems to have it together although she's getting older and she keeps forgetting where she PUT it!
Have a great week end.

Lara said...

Thanks, Kathy. Good to know we are not alone, isn't it!?

You know, you are not the purveyor of your kids' happiness. Take it easy on yourself. It is our task to provide food, clothing, shelter, love and guidance. If they choose to be happy, then great!

We all just do the best we can. . .maybe sometimes we even OVER-do it!

You are not the same person as your Mom is (she sounds like MY mom, who's favorite line is: Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most!) Instead of trying to live up to being your Mom, just be yourself.

Motherhood is not a contest, so don't worry about comparing yourself. I try to have fun with it. In the end, they're going to write a book about me anyway. Might as well make it a best-seller :)