I thought that part of being a parent, where the silliness is appreciated, would be over so fast, but my teenager still seems to be generally amused by my goofiness. I've reeled it back a good bit, as this age range requires, but I like that I can keep her off balance enough that she doesn't quite know what to expect.
You hear so often that being a parent is hard work. It makes me sad when I hear that. I think it's being an adult, being a grown-up, that's hard. Being a parent -- that part is fun. It's rewarding and exhausting and demanding. It can rob you of sleep and turn your hair gray. But being a parent is what makes being a grown-up worthwhile.
Sometimes, when life gets hard and overwhelming in the ways mine was this past year, it's easy to forget the importance of fun. I've been a little too concerned with covering all the bases that I've let myself get distracted. I became consumed with getting through, instead of making the most of the ride.
Mom taught me better than that.
I need to slow down and open my eyes and make the most of this time, since there's someone watching how I handle all this. Granted, Celeste might act like she's not paying the least bit of attention, that what I do and how I do it aren't of interest to her, but if she's the duplicate of me that she so often seems to be, she's watching.
And someday, if I do this right, she might follow my lead.
I'm grateful for all the sacrifices Mom made, although many of them I didn't notice until so much later. I'm grateful she showed me how to be a good mom, taught me that there are more important things than a spotless house or what money can buy, that kids will remember the mom who jumps in the cold swimming pool without dipping a toe over the mom whose hair and makeup looks perfect poolside.
Most of all, though, I'm glad I was her favorite.
I'm sorry, Kurt. But it's time that you knew.
Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinful...@gmail.com.