My sons Bryan and Kyle and Bryan’s girlfriend Amy are playing a round of Laser Tag right now, compliments of “the best” mom in the world.
It wasn’t always so. I was an absentee mom until Bryan was eight, burning the midnight oil trying to become the first female vice-president at my company. I ended up burning out and trading my corner office for an office with no windows and a more favorable “mommy’ work schedule, but not before Bryan told me that I didn’t care about him, one day when I was late picking him up from daycare. I was devastated. And Bryan was one angry little boy. Deservedly so.
Bryan deserved a better mom and got me. And though I don’t believe one can ever make up for past mistakes, I did my best to put the past behind me and become the best mom I could from that point on. I became involved in whatever my boys were involved in; if they played baseball, I was Team Mom. If they were in Cub Scouts, I became an assistant camp counselor and banquet party planner. If they went to UM ARMY, I helped with camp registration.
My sons and I have done a lot of growing up together. All to soon they will be out of school and on their own. And I’m sort of feeling sad that I’m no longer going to be playing the role of Mom anymore — even though I realize that I’ve mothered less and less each succeeding year of college.
But I look at both of my sons with such pride at the adults they have become. And it seems odd that Bryan will be pursuing a career in tax consulting while Kyle ventures off into the world of professional writing; and here I sit in the middle, having already practiced one and in the midst of practicing the other.
Even though my husband and I ate and ran at this all grown-up birthday party at a place that reminded me of Chuck E. Cheese, it was nice to play mom one last time and advice Bryan on the dress shoes he wanted for his birthday and dole out money for pizza and drinks and tokens and hand out money for Laser Tag. And it was that last hand-out that landed me the prize of that rare compliment — “Mom, you’re the best!” — from my son who once said I didn’t care about him.
Oh, honey, but I do care. And both of my boys are the best in the west. Like a good mom, I don’t play favorites.