Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Audacity of Nope...

My children think that I am completely Out-of-My-Mind.

They cannot believe the nerve I have...the audacity...

-to say "NO"
-to not give in to their every whim
-to put my foot down

In the past few months I have been challenged by these children in EVERY way possible. Not one word I have said, has gone unquestioned. Not one rule have I made, has gone unchallenged. Not one boundary have I set, has not been pushed.

I tell you, in the last few months (since both of my kids have been in Middle School)...I have found myself on the edge of sanity, barely grasping onto the edge of reason.

"Have I gone mad?" -I ask myself

"Am I totally unreasonable?" - I wonder

"Are my kids, right?...Am I wrong about EVERYTHING?" - WTF...could it be?

There have been times that I have wondered how I will make it through this. How I can bear the burden of always being challenged. Believe me, it has been hard and at times unbearable. I have to remind myself (and occasionally they remind me) that they are, in fact, really good kids. Most people who meet them, think they are just divine.

"Your kids are so well behaved" - I'm told

"Your kids are so thoughtful and caring" - I often hear

"Your kids are so patient" - Wha...my kids? No you must be mistaken...

Don't get me wrong, I love them, I really truly think they are great, but lately at ages 11 and 14 they drive me up the wall! When these two are around me...their loving, pushover, easy to irritate but even easier to charm Mom, they are well---

Stubborn, entitled, whiny, little butts!

I just keep telling myself that at least they know how to behave in public...that at least they have mastered the art of social propriety and should fare well in social lives...that at least they can trust me enough to drive me to the edge of sanity, question everything I say, push every button I have and still know deep down that I will (probably) come out of it still loving them.

I think this is what keeps me going...

Knowing that in the long run, all these trials and tribulations, their search for autonomy and independence, their challenges and questions will make my kids stronger, more capable human beings...

These things are what help me to stand strong, to continue to put my foot down, to maintain my boundaries and to continue to say "no" when I need to ... Oh yes, my friends... the "Audacity of Nope" will continue to reside within me and I won't be afraid to use it!

Just for fun: Here are My two "Jekyll and Hyde's" (circa 2005). Back when they were sweet, cute, chubby faced little cherubs...
I think it is always good to look at baby faced pictures of your kids, it kind of reminds you of the sweetness and how quickly time passes.

The next two pictures capture the essence of my "kiddles" right now...

Here is the "wild-child, rebel without a cause, let me see if I can shock the pants off you, circus freak" (her words, not mine) circa Halloween 2007:

And the "What the hell do I care if you are taking a picture of me mom, I'm too cool to uncover my eyes" devil in a red cape:

All I can say is...I gotta love 'em...


  1. You have captured the parental experience. What a great post. Thanks.

  2. Thank heaven for a parent who knows the word boundaries. Your kids are lucky kids.


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