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You know the friend who always shows up with the home-baked batch of cookies that makes you look at your store-bought cardboard ones and sigh? Or the woman who can run circles around you when in your mind you are really an Olympian? Or the neighbor who is always put together and would never be spotted in the produce section with two-day old mascara and bed head? How about the Mom who has got the most well-behaved, smart, good-natured and well-adjusted kids? How does she do it and how much does she charge for revealing her secrets?

I visited one of those Moms recently with my kids. We happen to be lucky enough to be related to her and her awesome offspring. Here is how part of the visit unfolded.

“Mom! She’s touching me!”

“He touched me first!”

” You lie!”

“Stop it!” Angry eyes. The Look. Clenched teeth. I Have Had It Up To Here.

And one embarrassment after another for three days…sigh.

Where did it go wrong? How did this little person who snuggled while we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar become so sassy and defiant?

And what is my relative thinking of my stellar parenting skills and obvious lack of anger management?

At some point in the weekend I revealed the pedestal on which her rock star parenting and impeccable (almost-all-grown) children had been placed. And she was oh-so-quick to correct me and take herself down from her post up high. She proceeded to share some snip-its that revealed some cracks in her armor and some flaws in my thinking. Bless her.

Really?? Had I got it all wrong? Was there really a time when she didn’t have it all under control? I had never seen anything of the likes she described. And having changed some of their diapers along the way, I have been around these kids for Y.E.A.R.S….and witnessed a lot of interactions between them. When did these transgressions happen?

Well, they did.

A little relief. A little reality check. Thanks for that.

Moms, give yourselves a break.

However, this one did opt to make her fabulous cookies…Something to strive for!

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