My sweet friend Kate and I were talking the other day about what it is like to have a teenager. Kate has three adorable little dark-haired boys with camel length eyelashes, dark hair and brains the likes of which most 30 somethings I know do not have. I was sharing my latest egomaniacal sufferings of having a freshman; my first high schooler. “He won’t even answer my calls on his cell phone! He doesn’t wave good-bye or even act like he knows me when I pick him up!” I say, pretending like I never did ANY of those things to my parents. Kate responds with one of her typical surfer-girl responses like “Dude. That’s tough.” SHE says, pretending not be one of the most intelligent people I have ever known, topped with an incredible down-to-earth nature that would shame Shaggy on Scooby Doo.
“How do I go about this, Kate?” I ask, desperately involved in my own sense of dilemma as usual. “I can’t even imagine…all I can remember is what my mom used to do with me to keep me close and on the right path. She would make me kiss her good-night.” I stare at Kate, with my usual “Which direction do I go with that?” stare. “So, she showed you signs of affection all the time?” I pondered, knowing my 14 year-old-boy to be soft, but not that soft. “No, you know…so she could smell my breath. If I had done anything funky at a party, you know, drink, smoke, whatever, she would smell it on me! So every time I went out I had to kiss her first thing when I got home and that kept me from doing anything at all! I knew I would get in huge trouble if I tried anything out of line! It really did keep me straight!” With the grinding of gears squeaking in my head, I pushed ahead with my narcissism. “So “Kiss Me Kate” kept you straight!? What if I…ah hem…a mom wanted a glass of wine?” I was more worried about what my 14 year old would think of me. “I didn’t care if my mom smelled like wine!” She laughed, “I was too scared about the way I smelled!”
I love Kate’s sense of humility. She teaches me all the time how to look at things from her humble and humorous perspective. As we giggled about “Kiss me, Kate”, I couldn’t help but wonder if the same rule applied when I kissed my husband goodnight after sneaking a few brownies out of the pan after everyone hit their pillows for the night.