I am a mean mom. I know there are many of you out there who are suffering under the impression that you are a mean mom, but I have to tell you that I am the gold standard.
Or at least that is what Kiki, my preteen, tells me. She already has shown all the eye-rolling, screaming, irritated, hormone driven impatience exhibited by so many of her age group. If I ask her to unload the dishwasher, she reacts as though I have requested a five-year-long commitment served in a cloistered convent where speech is prohibited at all times.
This kid has a gift, though. She is incredibly talented at singing, and her dad, a vocal coach, has made sure that she still sings like a child instead of a miniature Ethel Merman.
A couple weeks ago, Kiki was requested to do a solo in a program of Christmas music to be shown on local access cable. I drove her to the church, and waited while I listened to a musical group with an overly loud drummer and a bunch of bell choir members who were so busy talking that they appeared unaware that the video crew was actually recording. When it came Kiki's turn to sing, she stood up in the spotlight, opened her mouth, and sang this simple song with a beauty and purity that brought tears to my eyes. And she did her song in one take.
Today, this same child who brought such a feeling of tenderness to me is yelling, "That's not FAIR!" because this mean mom is making her do her homework correctly.