“Mom, we decided we want to have a car wash today.”
(Or the popular alternative, “Mom, we want to have a lemonade stand.”)
Words that make my heart sink. Because my first thought is, “That’s going to be so much work for me.” And then my second thought is, “But I don’t want to dampen their entrepreneurial spirit. They’re trying to make some money, after all, and it’s a good lesson about hard work, and the way goods and services work.” Blah blah blah.. It’s kind of like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.
So I hem and haw and say things like, “Well, we have a lot to do today. Let’s see what time it is after we’re done with soccer and cleaning up your room (or insert another chore here)”.
I really hate to disappoint them. But them having a car wash means so much work for me. And it also means that I’m doing most of the work to wash the cars. (And let’s face it, I’m really just washing my own cars, because who would pay a 6 and a 9-year-old to wash their car anyway? So I’d be washing my own cars and then giving my children money for it.)
I hate squelching their ideas. I hate bringing reality into it. I really do. I want to be the mom that drops everything and helps her kids have a car wash. I imagine that Bill Gates had a mom like that. Entrepreneurial Mom. Spontaneous “let’s-drop-our-plans-for-today-and-have-a-carwash” Mom.
No, if my kids had a label for me, it would not be that. Errand Mom, yes. Planning Mom, yes. But not Spontaneous Mom.