Sunday, March 20, 2011

Invisible Mom

I am 43.  I drive a mini-van.  I worry about the 20 extra pounds accumulated in the 50 pound, five time yoyo ride up and down the kid-bearing roller coaster.  I am invisible; I am every mom.

I found myself suddenly conspicuous last night when my 15 year old invited a group of friends over.  These are all kids he's gotten to know at church and several were on the week long missions trip with him last summer.  But still, they are not kids I know well.  And there were girls invited. (!!??)  And none of them are home schoolers.

I don't know in what nanosecond the sippy cups and arranged play dates stopped and my kid began selecting his own friends and asking them to come hang out.  Wasn't it just yesterday that no self respecting boy would sit on the "girl" side of the Sunday School room, let alone talk to one?

What is an invisible mom to do in times such as these?   If it were just a group of guys hanging out, I would have chucked them all in the basement with a bag of chips and been done with it.

As mom of one princess myself and extrapolating a decade into her future, I decided chucking into the basement with a bag of chips probably wasn't the way to go.  How to be omnipresent without seeming as if one is omnipresent?

I dispatched Mr. Wonderful to the basement to supervise the opening Nerf War and I bopped in and out a few times collecting the younger kids for bed.

After an opening warm-up war, the kids moved on to Risk, the ostensible purpose of the gathering.  I know, I know; if you have a group of kids willing to gather on a Saturday night to eat snacks and play Risk, they are probably not the rabble rousing variety needing constant, vigilant watch.  I recused myself to the front living room to read and listen to every word of their conversation without being seen.

Mr. Wonderful took up sentry at the kitchen computer.  The teens laughed and ate and played in the adjoining family room.  They seemed not to notice us a whole lot as we tried to thread the needle of being friendly and available without being an embarrassment to our offspring.

It's hard work being conspicuously invisible.  Being a parent of teens is a lot like being a good butler.  Anticipating needs, serving without drawing attention to one's self, aware of everything, revealing nothing.  Maybe invisibility is God's super power gift to the middle aged parent.  It sure is more kind to the midsection than donning a Wonder Woman suit.


  1. Great post, Holly! It's hard to believe those days are right around the corner. I can't imagine... But you should feel good that your teen wants to bring his friends over and they REALLY did play Risk!

    Maybe you need to be invisible in those situations, but you certainly aren't an invisible mom. You are an amazing influence on your children. You are a beautiful person. You are a loyal friend. You are a terrific voice in the homeschool community. You are a dearly loved child of God. I, for one, love seeing you and all that you do! Please don't use your power of invisibility more often than necessary!

  2. Loved it, Holly! I could relate to the invisibility! I am amazed at the conversations that go on when I am "just" the driver or "just" the woman serving the food. I feel like the fly on the wall. I get to hear what is going on. My kids have some great friends and except for the extra drama, I am enjoying the teenage years - most of the time! :)