"You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am,
I'll come running. . .
You've got a friend." - James Taylor
Billy Ray Cyrus, the Achy Breaky real-life dad of "Hannah Montana," is quoted as saying that he wants to be his daughter Miley's best friend.
My first reaction was to roll my eyes.
"You can't be a parent AND a friend." I thought to myself. Then I remebered one of my favorite Erma Bombeck quips - "Parents who are critical of other people's children and publicly admit they can do better are asking for it." So, uh, good luck, there, Billy Ray.
My daughter's Myspace profile is all about the people who matter the most to her in her life. . .her friends. I listened to her read it aloud. With passion in her voice, she celebrated the way her friends are "always there for her" and "never let her down."
I waited for the part where she celebrated the person she runs to when those great and wonderful friends decide that they are NOT her friends anymore because someone said that she said something about someone who said that what she supposedly said meant that they were no longer friends.
Certainly the words of devotion and admiration for that person were forthcoming. She got to the end of her homage and looked at me. "Well?"
"And?" I asked.
"And what? What do you think? Am I a good writer?"
"Well, yes... you did a great job of honoring your friends...but..."
"What about The Mom? I am always there for you. I never turn my back on you."
"Mom, people don't put 'I love my Mommy' on their Myspace page. . . that's dorky!"
"Oh, okay. Well, looks good, Baby."
I wondered to myself how many of her friends lay awake in the wee hours worrying about her. How many of those friends would have gone without food or new clothes or watched "The Lion King" five thousand times with her like I did? Which of those friends would have rubbed her leg cramps at three in the morning or held her while she was sick or given their life for her?
I guess it's my own fault. I've said to her, "I am NOT your friend, I am your Mother." And I don't really want to be her friend in the context of giggling over boys or slamming back a few sasparillas or listening to rap music while carrying on a phone conversation about how bored we are.
But I'd like for her to feel like I am there for her, like I have her best interest at heart all the time regardless of my own personal agenda. If only there were a way to convey to her the true depth of my love and concern for her. . .ahhh, one day she'll have kids and then she'll get it.
Hmmmm, maybe I WILL let her get that tattoo. . . on one condition - "I love my MOTHER" spelled out in big letters across her backside. After all, she already sees me as a pain there, so what the heck?
Divorce in Progress
2 months ago