This past weekend was Flynn’s 10th birthday. In my mind, 10 is a big one. We have entered double digits and he is now only a few short years away from the dreaded teenage years. I did what every mother does on their child’s birthday. I asked myself the age-old question “Where has the time gone?”. My eyes filled with tears as I looked at baby photos. Look at this little cutie pie!
Basically, I sent myself into a maternal emotional roller coaster that scared Flynn. The morning began when I forced him to hear about the joy I felt when I became a mother and held him for the first time. I could tell by the way he stared at the floor and continuously changed the subject that my story inspired him. The poor kid couldn’t walk anywhere near me all day without me grabbing his arm and pulling him in for an awkward bear hug.
I love to taunt him when he is trying to avoid me. One day he will learn that his life would be easier if he would just give me a decent hug without making me beg for it.
I have to say; I’ve become a good hugging coach. “Come on buddy. Wrap your arms around your mom. You can do it.”
If I am persistent, I can still get a real hug out of him but usually it’s a no-arm leaner. Sigh. I’ve been working on him for a decade and I’m not about to quit now, damn it. I have dreams of him coming home from college and giving me a completely voluntary hug. Is that sad? Normal people dream about going to Fiji or winning the lottery not a good hug. Right?
Anyway, Flynn is a total guy. If you ask him about his day he responds “Fine”. He hates to be the center of attention and usually requests that I don’t surprise him at school with huge cupcakes and my famous tambourine solo (just kidding). How does this child have my DNA? It has taken me 10 years to learn that planning a birthday party for someone who prefers not to have one is a waste of time. So this year, I respected his request and kept his birthday simple but that didn’t stop me from being a big mush all day. By dinner time he was rolling his eyes when I repeated “I can’t believe you’re 10!”
“Mom!!! Stop!” he kept saying.
“Aw, I’m sorry. Am I annoying you? Listen kid. It’s devastating for a mother. Pretty soon you will be too cool for me and you won’t hug me any more.”
He was so annoyed with me. “Mom!!”
“Just promise you will always hug me and I’ll leave you alone. Ok?”
“And I want a picture of you with your cake today, OK.”
Fast forward to cake time. I don’t know what it’s like at your house but at ours, it takes a small miracle to get everyone looking at the camera and smiling. I wanted a nice picture of Flynn and his siblings around the cake. Armed with my camera, the drama began.
Me:“OK Flynn. Smile.”
He looked miserable. So miserable that it made me laugh.
Ming: “Flynn. Smile for your mother.”
Molly: “Dude. Smile”
Flynn: (now angry and screaming) “I AM!”
Me: “Ok. I need all 4 kids next to Flynn for a quick picture. Maggie? Where’s Maggie? We just need Maggie and then I can take the picture. Wait? What’s going on? Teagan, why are you crying?”
Teagan: (screaming) “Flynn is pushing me!!!!”
Me: “Flynn!!!! Leave her alone. I mean it. Since when do you push a girl. Honestly!”
Flynn: “I’m not pushing her, she’s breathing on me.”
Me: “Breathing on you? What are you talking about? Molly, look at my camera not daddy’s.”
Molly: “Let’s hurry up and take the picture! I am excited! I love cake! I want a big piece. Can I please have a big piece? Please. Please. Pleeeeeaaase?”
Me: “Molly, it’s not your birthday. Settle down. Ok, if I could get everyone to stop crying and look at me, that would be great.”
Teagan: “It’s not my fault. I can’t stop crying. Flynn is making me cry worser.”
Maggie: “I can’t see. I want cake too. Can I have cake pwease?”
Teagan: “Flynn! Mom said I NEED to get closer to be in the picture.”
Flynn: “No. You are fine right where you are you little pip squeak.”
Teagan: “Mom? He called me a pip squeak!” (more tears)
Me: “Oh my God. Flynn, please let her in the picture.”
Ming: “Come on guys. Let’s go! Knock it off.”
Me: “Ew Molly. What are you doing?”
Molly: “What? I like icing. I just want a little lick.”
Flynn: (shoves molly) “Get away from my cake. That’s disgusting!”
And then I said the words that confirm that I am the world’s most patient and amazing mother.
Me: “Ok. Nevermind. Let’s just sing happy freakin birthday and get this over with. You guys really know how to ruin a perfectly good birthday.”
Clearly, we love each other and I am an amazing mother.
Which reminds me of one of my all time favorite Vine videos: