The other day at my son's school I noticed an extra amount of kids smiling at me and greeting me. One of my son's friends even came up and gave me a hug.
"Hey, kid's name mom", she said. "Hey, pretty girl, " I said in return. Pretty girl chosen because I didn't know the child's name and my go-to when I don't know someone's name is girl or lady. However, given her age and I think it's important to speak positives to people given the chance - I decided to call her PG.
"How's school going" I asked. "Are you good?" PG replied, "Yep, it's good" She twirled her hair, "Well, I just wanted to tell you hi and let you know I love you on Snapchat. Bye"
"Bye", I said.
Snapchat? I asked my son later what was up with Snapchat. "What you mean?" he said. I told him that kids were smiling and saying hi and then PG said she loved me on Snapchat.
Kid, "Oh, I be putting your bests on Snapchat".
Me, "My bests?"
Kid, "Yeah, like when you are dancing and rapping or when you telling me stuff. It's nothing bad. I mean it's not like the yelling parents on Vine. Kids always telling me that my mom is cool and funny. You got fans".
My bests on Snapchat. So there are kids out there judging the whole of my brilliant parenting in 5 - 10 second vignettes. How on earth can they get the gist of being a good human, loving your family and friends, serving God and your community in 5-10 seconds? Especially 5-10 seconds that are instantly erased by the next 5 - 10 minutes of me in traffic twirling my own hair singing and telling my stealth filming kid, "You don't know nothing 'bout this".
Part of me was kinda weirded out. I mean, I'm not a Snapchat fan anyway and to think there's a high school contingent out there watching my bests is kinda weird.
But while it's weird, it also made me kinda happy. My relationship with my son is one of the most important in my life. I love him and try to do everything I can to live that love and show him that love daily. I fail miserably somedays. Somedays I yell, somedays I cuss, somedays I ignore him and speak to him curtly as if he was someone in my office that pissed me off or a service employee who didn't give me the service and attention I think I deserved. In those moments, I'm not at my best. I'm thankful there are no social media reminders even if they are only 5-10 seconds long of how I get it wrong. Those moments wouldn't get me any nods or smiles from teens and surely no hugs. Most importantly they aren't my bests. Far from it.
As this month of love closes out, I'm humbled to consider my son's loving ode to me. I know he loves me. I know it even when he is ungrateful and self-absorbed and when he can't or won't give me a straight answer or when he can't take responsibility for the homework that he didn't turn in. He loves me enough to celebrate more of my bests instead of calling me out for my worsts. That he uses up valuable teen social media bandwidth to do so is pretty cool, too.