Thanks, Mom

We parents are a melancholy bunch from time to time. No, no; it’s OK, don’t worry. This isn’t criticism. It’s just an observation. We parents are a melancholy bunch from time to time. A little woe-is-me. A tiny bit pessimistic. A wee bit Eeyore-esque. Ho hum, we say to ourselves, we work and we work and we toil away, and who thanks us? No one. No one thanks us.

And it’s true. 

Almost always.

No one thanks us.

Except occasionally when they do, but mostly no one thanks us, and no one will thank us for the menial tasks we do every day.

No one thanks us, and no one will thank us for the many life skills we teach our children, and we’re probably right about that Not Gonna Be Thanked thing… but we might be wrong, and therein lies our hope.

My dad and I left on a trip today. It’s an annual, week-long canoe trip for my dad, one he’s invited me to attend year after year. Year after year, I’ve said the same thing, which is, “What part of FIVE KIDS do you not understand, man?” But this year my kids are a little older. And this year my kids can almost always wipe themselves. And this year my anxiety medication mostly works. And this year, Greg said, “Go.” So this year, I’m going.

RoadTrip

Oregon

UtahAs we raced down the highways yesterday, winding our way through Oregon and then Idaho and Utah, watching wide open spaces blow by and stopping at public restroom after gas station after rest area, I thought two things:

  1. My bladder just isn’t what it once was. Then, a reservoir as vast as the vistas stretching endlessly before us. Now, a shriveled ghost of its former glory.
  2. I really should thank my mama for teaching me to squat-pee.

So, to bring hope to the next generation and prove that we may, after all, someday be thanked, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my mom for teaching me to squat-pee so I never have to touch a public potty with my bare ass. 

While I’m at it, I’d also like to thank her for teaching me to wipe good and that picking my nose and eating it will give me pin worms and for trapping me in the bathroom with a box of Tampax and the little instruction sheet until I learned to use a tampon so I could go on that one river raft trip in middle school. Because you know what? I’m about to spend a week on a river, and I’m going to squat-pee and wipe good and not eat my boogers and I’m not even a little bit worried about whether or not I’ll need to use tampons. MOM FOR THE WIN!

Someday your kid might thank you for teaching her to squat-pee in public restrooms, too. Because LIFE SKILL. There is HOPE, is what I’m saying. Hope for the future, parents. Keep up the good work. (And thank your mommy.)

………

P.S. I’ll be away from the blog from September 30-October 7 since the Green River in Canyonlands National Park has no internet. This means several things:

  1. In my absence, Greg is taking over. I THINK this means he’ll pin a different post from the archives to the top of the blog every day so that, if you check back here, you’ll have new daily reading material. HOWEVER, it may mean he hijacks the blog to discuss Doctor Who. I can’t be held responsible for Greg’s need to discuss the Doctor, is my point.
  2. Greg needs your help picking posts from the archives. I’d really love for these to be reader favorites, so, if you have a favorite 5Kids blog post, please share it (a description or a link is fine) with an explanation why. Greg will share your explanation when he shares the link on Facebook.
  3. Speaking of Facebook, if I AM able to communicate at all, it’ll be (probably useless tidbits like this entire post) via Facebook. You can join our Facebook community here.

P.P.S. If you signed up for a ComeUnity group (see: Are You Looking for the Elusive Village?) and you haven’t heard back from me, don’t worry! YOU WILL. I may take me a week, what with the river and all, but YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN. 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
21 comments
  1. The Time Travel one and “the Evolution of My Cape” are 2 of my favorites. I missed “on not doing all the things” when it was originally posted. I’m so glad that I read it today.

  2. How wonderful that you are able to do this with your Dad!

  3. […] here, while Beth is away this week.  I don’t think I’ll make the same mistake a made a few years […]

  4. Just so you know there is much to hope for. I too have 5 kids, although they were never all at home at the same time. The youngest is now 23 and together they have given me 12 grandchildren. Thanks do come, and wonderment. Things like “how did you keep from killing me?” and ” you are my hero” and “what do I do when they do this”. Encouragement, and keep your head up.

  5. I never learned how to squat pee :'(

    1. 🙁 That makes for a sad childhood, Amy. I should come teach you.

      1. Please! My mom has CP so balance was always an issue in these situations. I’ve also never peed outside (despite a childhood full of long car trips, camping, and hiking). Bladder of steel.

  6. I’d just like to apologize. I saw the title and blurb on Facebook, and thought, well this post is not for me. I anticipated a mushy, thanks mom post, for everything. Since my relationship with my mother is currently strained, I thought, great, and, oh well. But then I read! Because of course I still would. And you made me remember the good times with my mom actually, and that she did teach me all of the above things! And that I do appreciate her for that! So thank you!!!

    1. Ha! This cracked me up, Diana. And I’m glad it made you laugh.

  7. I can speak somewhat intelligently about Dr. Who – I have a daughter who must do all things Dr. Who – I think it’s a cult!

  8. Dear Greg – For the love of all things and for future writing material for Beth, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do something AT LEAST as fabulous as letting your kids collect pee in the bathtub while she is away. It is science so it is basically homeschooling in addition to regular schooling which I know Beth would totally support. Your kids will be smarter and you will win cool dad of the century again and I just REALLY REALLY want to read about whatever it turns out to be.

    Also, chin up and deep breathes. It’ll be a long week!

    Best of luck (and I can’t wait to hear who is left standing)
    Heather

  9. I’m not opposed to Dr. Who, but I really know nothing about it except our friends are obsessed. So, I have to vote for “On Not Doing All the Things” because I could read that one every day. It’s my life. And any of the funny pee-related posts, well, what parent can’t relate to those?!

  10. Let’s have Dr chat 🙂

    1. You are just encouraging him, Lucy!

  11. I came down here to comment and vote for Doctor Who, and I see I’ve been beaten to it. I LOVE this community!!

  12. I’m all in for the Doctor Who conversation. But on Facebook or at least a link on Facebook cause im there more then here lol

  13. Doctor Who! I vote Doctor Who! (Although the archives stories sound great too. But DOCTOR WHO.)

    1. Oh my gosh! Did Greg pay you all??

  14. Uh… I just want Greg to talk about Dr. Who! 😀

    1. You guys are seriously all cracking me up.

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