Friday, December 22, 2006

Humbling Exchange

You know, I consider myself to be a reasonable "hip" sort of mom. I can keep up at least seventy-five percent of the time in a teenage conversation without having to "fake" that I know what the heck they're talking about. Furthermore, I choose to spend a good deal of my "leisure" time attending youth group functions as a sponsor and I spend all day working with 7th graders. I'm relatively "in the know" with that crowd for a 43-year-old woman.

Still, there's nothing more humbling than the fact that my own children think I'm an idiot. It's a sort of "term of endearment" idiocy that they ascribe to me. Oh, don't get me wrong, they'd never come right out and say "Mom, you're an idiot." It's much more subtle. Here is a sample:

Drew: (sitting at the computer) "Mom, come over here, I want you to see this cool video."

I walk over to the computer....and then....just before he clicks on the big black triangle to play it....he turns, looks at me, and says...

"It's Michael Jordan, you know who that is.....right?"

I wanted to say, "No Drew, remember, I've been living in a giant mom-cave for the past 19 years emerging only occasionally and just long enough to make the next batch of grilled cheese sandwiches." But, I didn't. I did have to pause though. And then I replied calmly that yes, I indeed know who Michael Jordan is.

We're heading to Oklahoma in just a bit. I hope my tiny pea-sized brain can remember how to work the controls in the car. ;)

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Robert said...

LOL! [it was not too long ago that I was explaining to MY parents what "LOL" stood for].

Yes, all parents are "special" in the way that "Special Olympics" is special. At least Drew called you over to see the video. At my house if my mother had an interest in something we were watching, my sister and I were just as likely as to roll our eyes into our head and say "OH MOTHER! You wouldn't understand. You don't know ANYTHING!"

Merry Christmas to the boys and their "special" parents!

grace said...

ROBERT! *runs and gives big hug*

Yes...I'm also, according to some testing we did during an inservice once at school, very "spatial" in my reasoning skills...which doesn't translate well in Texas (or southern OK for that matter).

So good to hear you laugh! :)


Norm! said...

You handled that well, Pam! Your brilliant mom-cave quip must have been tough not to use. Thanks for sharing it with us!


Peterson Toscano said...

I can just see you emerging out of the mom-cave, clad in animal skins with a big club in your hand. (Christine, surely you can photoshop something to that effect!)

Well, whenever you are in a tight spot like that and you DON'T know the celebrity in question, turn to the youngster and ask, "But do you know who Billy Holiday is???" Gets them everytime (well at least the first time).

Bill said...

You've captured the reality of teenagers quite well. However, this too shall pass. At least, it normally does...with time...after many misunderstandings...some disappointment...not a few shed tears...quite a few looks of disgust...too many angry looks and a couple of slammed doors.

Not too long ago my oldest son (he was 23ish at the time) and I were having a heart-to-heart conversation. He told me that he wanted to thank me for holding my ground on several things that I'll not list here. These were things that seemed to reveal my idiocy at the time, but have since proven to be beneficial to him in life.

Just the other day, my second son, who is home from his first year of college, said to his mother, "I finally realized that you were right..."

We are all works in progress, though. When I have conversations with my dear mother-in-law who is now a very alert 85, she sometimes smiles, nods her head knowingly and says insightful things like, "Well, time will tell. Time will tell." She would never think of me as an "idiot". It's just not in her nature. But, I sometimes think she looks at me as a mere child of 48 who has lots to learn.

Be safe over the holidays. I have a favor to ask: When you pass over the border into Oklahoma would you take a deep breath for me? Maybe even sing a few lines of "Back Home Again". It's by John Denver, you now who that is.....right?

Blessings to you and yours, dear sister! Merry Christmas!!


Jay said...

Well, at least your son didn't have to spend over an hour explaining the whole TIME magazine "You are the Person of the Year" thing to you. My parents still don't really have much of a grasp on what blogs, Wikipedia, or YouTube are. Then again, they are stuck on dial-up with AOL 6.0 :/

Merry Christmas!

Angie said...

It is Christmas day... I'm not even blog surfing or anything - I just had YOU on my mind and wanted to drop in! THANK YOU for upping the property value of my blog home every time you pay a visit. Thanks for loving God the way you do and allowing His Spirit to give you direction. And thanks for being my friend... That's a way cool gift for me.

I love you!!!

Steve Boese said...

Hey Pam...

Y'know, being considerate of one's audience, and then asking questions to confirm or dispute its actual experience, represents a pretty high-order combo of communication skills.

It's one of too few parental perks during adolescence, but I encourage you to take credit for your kid's awareness of context (if not nuance) in asking whether you were onboard before plunging ahead with his explanation.

I'm finding myself on the other side of that equation from time to time lately, talking with mature, thoughtful, adults who happen to be half my age. Those conversations remind me how many of my cultural references go back to their pre-school years or (gasp!) earlier. Just when I think I've got it all sorted out, I meet a well-informed, socially-active 23-y/o openly gay guy who is a fan of Rufus Wainwright yet swears he didn't know that Rufus is gay (which has never been a secret).

It just doesn't hurt to assume nothing, eh?

grace said...

Steve: I see where you are coming from (all your children are highly gifted, aren't they? heehee!)...and if this were my only evidence of said "your an idiot" behavior...I might go for it.... :)