It Takes A Village To Keep Me From Whacking You Upside the Head

Monday morning is challenging enough without parent-child clashes, right?  Unfortunately, my Monday morning featured all the usual challenges, plus a side of Teen Drama.

You see, when we arrived at school, my teenager discovered he had left his lunch at home.  I reacted with all the grace of a grumpy mother bear whose cub has spilled honey all over the cave.  He got defensive and teenager-y on me, and somehow, magically, it was my fault that he hadn't grabbed his lunch.

So the two of us are walking up the hill to school hissing disgruntled comments back and forth, each of us unhappy with the other, I because he'd forgotten his lunch and he because I was on his case and in his business again.  We walked about 20 or 30 paces this way, essentially bickering.  Let me be a cautionary tale: do not bicker with your own child.  It's pointless and soul-sucking.  For both of you.  But bicker we did, right up to the school steps.

But then, we encountered two other people, another parent and another student.  And BAM!  Insta-Cheer!  

One minute we were both grousing and grumbling away at each other, and the very next minute, we were chatting pleasantly with our respective friends about our weekends.  Sam was telling his friend about his awesome guitar recital on Saturday night and I was joking with the mom on crossing guard duty like I hadn't a care in the world.  It was like we were two entirely different people than the grumpy-grumps we had been seconds earlier.

Is that fake?  Are we hypocritical when we change faces so fast and act like everything is hunky-dory when we kind of want to strangle each other?

I don't think so.  I think it's more like sweet mercy that other people come along and bring us out of our private little miseries and invite us to something better.  Thank goodness we are not left alone with our petty concerns and complaints!

Apparently, it takes a village to keep a mother and teenager from killing each other.

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