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It’s right on the fence whether I will have my “Mom Card” revoked or just suspended. I didn’t break any laws, per se. But apparently I have not completely fulfilled my motherly duty by ‘caring enough’.

I have a daughter graduating from college this month. She is the second of my entire personal family tree to own a college degree and I am eager to throw some confetti at the ticker-tape parade. Every time I considered “going back to college” I was held back by the thought, “I’ll have to take math.” If they would have accepted only the essay questions involving a speeding train, a crossing car and a pelican, I just might have gone for it. (Answer: the pelican should not have been driving the car in the first place.)

My daughter can speed read textbooks that are clearly written in Greek for secret societies in code.  And now she is pondering her next step which involves testing the waters in another state.

As yet another huge change descends on our family, the question I’ve asked my children from the womb re-surfaces. What do you want to be when you grow up?

The question has evolved to include what I feel are obvious sidebars.

Whatever you think you’re going to do, it had better 1) pay your bills, 2) be personally fulfilling, 3) allow you to move out into the big world, and 4) be respectable enough I can brag about it for a while.

The question involves a lot of thought, and it’s not like they haven’t had years to ponder it. As a matter of fact, I myself ponder the same thing but I don’t have parents waiting for the answer anymore. So the pressure’s off.

Based on where all of my money goes, I’d vote for the professions of orthodontist, auto mechanic, owner of a Target store, or perhaps diaper manufacturer. If I had a nickel for every diaper I’ve ever changed, they could just sit back and inherit. Also a nice way to go if you can pull it off.

As I sat one afternoon with friends and family, the subject of graduating and job finding circled the room. One of my friends had a daughter who spent a couple thousand dollars flying to Texas for a job interview and was offered the position. The daughter had schooled and trained hard for her career choice and this seemed like very good news.

My sweet mom friend sat there and cried.

I’m trying to digest the fact that she is already desperately missing her daughter. The daughter who just attained huge success and reached her latest goals. The one about to become independent and self sufficient and fulfilled. It’s even respectable! Surely love can span a couple of states?

From where I’m sitting, it feels like the whole point of my career, “Mom”, is to work myself out of it. If the kids are no longer coming to me to fill their needs because they are well trained to fill them their selves, I have succeeded in my job. It’s a win-win when a child becomes a happy, healthy, and whole adult. It may take a lifetime and that’s OK, but steady progress is delightful.

I don’t want to be a speed-bump in the fast lane of my child’s road trip.

But when my daughter compares the two moms sitting on the couch, one forlorn and one ecstatic, her frown indicates which one she’d prefer. And I know my “Mom Card” is up for review.

I’ll have to be on my best behavior for a while. I can see the future ‘care packages’ will have to contain at least a dozen fuzzy socks, some Starbucks cards, definitely some country music selections, and a tin of chocolate chip cookies.

And very likely some confetti.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. Jenni de

    Don’t let a math class stop you! Believe me, your brain is much better prepared to do math now than it was when you were in high school, and if you major in something related to writing, then your math career will be short and sweet! Besides, what could be more satisfying than taking on your greatest fear?

    • Oh my! There was such a list of answers to your question, it made a whole other blog. Thanks for the inspiration! It will be coming along later. 🙂

  2. Edwin D Thompson

    Don’t forget they all come down from the stars , we’re just the biological parents!

    • That explains those twinkles in their eyes!

  3. Sarah

    You are my ROLE MODEL for motherhood! My kids say I’m mean and hard too because I make them do all the stuff they would rather not do. I’m the ONLY one in their life that holds them accountable and pushes them. Your daughter will one day be in AWE of your parenting. It may not be until she has kids though that she understands. You may not always be the warmest fuzzy on the outside but your heart is HUGE….just wait til those grandkids come. Then the kids will complain that you were never that nice to them and you’ll say, “That’s right cuz I had to RAISE you. Now I can bring out the spoil card that I never could with you guys.” Ah it seems we’ll never win, will we? Mom = total unsung hero.

    • Haha! I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions this early in the blog. 😉 “Spoil Cards” are used for the first 5 years, then filed away for emergencies. Like math class.

  4. Jerusha

    I can’t imagine getting anything from you WITHOUT confetti. 🙂

  5. Pat Tunnell

    Hi Jolie, I loved this piece.

  6. Kiki

    Another great one! I don’t think any of your kids will revoke your mom card. You are raising amazing kids who are very independent. Who could ask for more 🙂

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