• Mo MacPhail

A Morning Mo~moment (Some People Call Me the Space Cowboy)

It all started in the kitchen. I tell my youngest to wear his winter coat and not the old navy blue zip sweatshirt he usually wears (that needs to be washed), because it’s cold and SNOWING outside.

This simple request/instruction morphs into a back and forth discussion (argument) where he poses the question “WHY, do I have to?” And the proclamation that, his sweatshirt IS fine. As we discuss and present our case for and against the wearing of the winter coat, my youngest demonstrates his indignation in tone and rhetoric so much so that I invite him to present it further, inside the living room, where his father is sitting and reading the morning news. I ask him to, go see what Dad thinks. He declines the invitation and finally stops.

I visualized a fast forward moment with him, later in life, sitting on a couch in a therapist’s office, as he describes how unfairly he was treated when his mother forced him to wear his dark green puffy winter jacket and how it must be the reason for whatever perceived tragic event he is experiencing now. *deep cleansing breath…

We all make our way to the door, bags, and lunches in hand and climb into the car. We begin our drive to school. Along the way, we pick up a couple of our neighbor friends down the street who go to the same school as my youngest. My oldest sits in the front seat.

We pull up to the neighbor’s house and the radio is playing oldies from the 80’s. I start singing softly and bopping a little to the music as we wait for our neighbor friends to come out of their house and join us in the car.

“DON’T be embarrassing today!” My oldest says whispering through his clenched teeth.

I turn and smile with a squinted eye, holding back my need to lecture, and tell him, “I’ll do my best.”

Between the forced jacket wearing and my embarrassing mom status, I know I’m winning... I think... Fighting the good fight, I like to say. *Deep cleansing breath...

Our neighbor friends get into the car.

I say good morning and keep it clean. No probing questions on how they are doing or proclamations on how everyone should be kind, and do their best and have a good day.

. We continue our drive to school. I take a left onto the main road. The radio is still playing and starts to sing,

Some people call me the Space Cowboy…”

I struggle inside. I want to belt out the next words but resist the urge. I sing in my head, Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, don’t you worry…slightly moving my head to the beat. I glance over at my oldest and meet his eyes. He knows what I am thinking and gives me a, “Don’t even think about it!” look. I am impressed at his mastery of this look. He has learned it well. Damn it! It’s like the standoff at the ok corral. We both become twitchy with our stare and stand our ground. Will she sing? Will he shut her down? *Cue the whistling music from a Clint Eastwood movie.

I cave. I will spare him, for now. We unclick our eyes and he breathes a quiet sigh of relief, but I do start to talk about the upcoming talent show at his younger brother’s school - A compromise.

My oldest replaces his stare with some earbuds that he pops into his ears and looks down at his phone. He doesn’t have to listen to me now. I glance at him a few times, keeping my eyes on the road while I carry on a conversation with the younger ones in back. They haven’t considered exercising the power of the earbuds to block me, yet.

I drop the younger ones off first. I tell them to have a good day, be kind and to do their best. I can’t help it. I’m a mom. It’s what I say. I have to say it.

They thank me for the ride and I am pleased.

I drop off my oldest next and tell him I love him. He mumbles it back while he gets out of the car and I am pleased again.

*Deep cleansing breath – and smile.

I will have a good day. :)

(photo credit

#earlymorning #clinteastwood #standoff #struggle #pleased #bekind #doyourbest #haveagoodday #school #therapy

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