I realize my life could be so much worse. I realize that I could have lost my child, or worse have been a “mother” that was never able to have children of my own.

But thankfully, God has blessed me with three gorgeous, smart, wonderful little boys. All up until one hit puberty! And then it happened…the smile disappeared.

I always heard it was going to happen, but I thought it was a myth, a folk legend. I never thought that this bouncing bundle of joy, that I played with, gave up my career for to stay home with him for the first five years of his life, stayed awake for hour after hour when he was sick; laid on the floor with my hand through the crib slats, just so he knew Mommy was lying on the floor next to him; consistently smelled of vomit; always had Goldfish as an accessory, rather than a diamond stud earring; and put more miles on her car than an Indy 500 race car driver could ever even imagine putting on their car…all for what?

All for them to wake up one morning and go… “Hmmmm, that really annoying lady that is always in my life, always dropping off my gym clothes that I have forgotten, always making sure I don’t forget my school activities, always making sure I have entertainment on the weekends…Yep, I think I will just stop smiling at her today, stop being nice to her today, and overall just be a little toot!”

Because in the end, I know she will always love me, right? That’s her job. That’s why she was put here on earth. I know her love is unconditional. I know she would stop a train for me. I know that I can treat her like absolute dirt, and the very next day, pick up the phone and ask her to order my girlfriend’s homecoming mum and she will, of course, do it with a smile.

I don’t think I am doing this to her to be mean. But there is something fundamentally wrong with me. And I am told I will act like this until I am about 18 years old. Man, from 13-18 years old to treat my mom like dirt, that is a really long time for her to have to hang in there. Maybe I should try to find my smile every once in a while, and not think she is a total idiot. After all, she does run our entire household, she does build and fix stuff, she did go to college, she does raise my little brothers and me, she’s pretty cool (at least my friends like her and like coming over to my house); so maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on her.

After all, she may yell at me, or get onto me for not doing my chores, but according to my friends, what mom doesn’t? I guess she is just trying to make me a decent responsible human being…or so she says. And I know she’s right. I can’t have someone picking up my dirty dishes, my shoes, my socks, and all my bags all the time for the rest of my life. At some point, I will have to become accountable for my life and my things.

So, I might as well find my smile again, sooner than later; because after all, my poor mom has two more boys to deal with after me, the first teenager. So, I guess giving her a hug and smile, and a “Thank You” every once in a while, wouldn’t be the toughest thing to do in the world. Oh, and to remember to put my dishes in the sink.

But after much insider research, mom talk, and lost hope…the truth has been discovered. The frontal lobe is not fully developed until they are 25 years old! Yep, you read it, right parents! You have two and a half decades of them being total mush brains, but somewhere in that manual, that a wrote about a while back (that we never received) …we must love them anyway. So, hang in there.