After work, I drove to a nearby park to pick up my kids. As I drove around the park and eventually found a cool parking spot in the shade, I saw my mom twirling my son on the merry-go-round. I couldn't tell who was happier- my mom or my son. I have the most cheerful, bright, playful, and patient mother in the world. I often can't help but think she is better with my kids than I am.
I've never seen her lose patience with my children. When Jacob becomes difficult, she turns everything into a game and magically transforms his stubborness into willing cooperation. I have no idea how she does it. I'm convinced that if I looked at her back, I'd see a battery compartment fitted with a hundred D-size batteries.
She and Jacob have such a wonderful relationship. It's still hard for me to go to work most days. But when I think about the beautiful relationship that they share as a result of me being a working mom, I am nothing but grateful that they've had the opportunity to bond on such a deep level.
I can probably count on one hands the number of times I've seen my mom without a wide grin on her face. She is such a positive energy. She's a little out-there at times too. I will never forget the time that my husband (then my boyfriend) came over to pick me up at my parents' home. My mom asked him if he would like some mint gum. When he accepted her offer, she took out a piece of Juicy Fruit, wrapped it around a mint leaf, and handed it to him as if it were the most normal thing in the world. To my amazement, he accepted the gum and even chewed it. That's when I knew my husband was a keeper.
As I walked across the grass, towards my mom and kids, Jacob finally caught my eye. From a distance, I saw him mouth the words, "My mommy's here!" He dropped everything he was doing, ran right up to me, and wrapped his arms around my legs. Before we left, he gave me a merry-go-round ride and told me all about his lunchbox full of Hot Wheels cars.
"Mommy, this car solves night time mysteries. This car solves dinosaur mysteries. THIS car solves outer space mysteries." He went on and on.
I gathered up my kids, said goodbye to my mom and we were on our way. We stopped at the grocery store and I let Jacob pick out the cake he wanted for his upcoming birthday party. Spiderman, of course. We were just about to check out when Jacob said, "Mommy. Are we going to pick up my tooth medicine?" "Tooth medicine" is what we call Flouride in our house.
I nearly slapped my hand over my forehead in shock. I DID need to pick up his tooth medicine. The last time I was with Jacob at the store was two weeks ago. At that time, I had put in an order for Flouride refills. When the pharmacist told me it would be 20 minutes, I left and decided to pick them up the next day. Then I had totally spaced. How did Jacob remember that?!
When we got home, I gave him a bowl of grapes with his dinner. He counted the grapes and informed me, with an expression of amazement, that he had "80 MILLION GRAPES!" Before he ate all 80 million of them, he took them to the bay window and began to throw them like bouncey balls. Grapes flew in all directions, sending nasty, wet grape stems sailing across the living room.
"Jacob! Stop! Go sit down and eat your dinner!" I scolded him.
He scooped up five grapes and plopped them all in his mouth and once. With a full mouth, he bounded to his chair at the table and exclaimed, "I'M ON IT!"
I only had to chase him back to his chair seven times before he finally ate 1/4 cup of mac and cheese. I guess 80 million grapes will really fill you up.