Kool-aid mom manifesto

Remember the commercial for Kool-Aid where there's a group of neighborhood kids playing outside and they ask for a drink (thirsty, sugar-starved kids that they are)? The mom turns and yells, "Hey, Kool-aid!" and the big pitcher comes crashing through the fence. Fade to the next shot, with the mom bringing little dixie cups of sugar joy to all the kids in their clubhouse.

(I'm starting to realize that I might be adding a little of the "Honeycomb Hideout" commercial, too, because in my mind I start hearing "honeycomb's big, yeahyeahyeah. " But no matter...) I aspire to being a Kool-Aid mom, I really do. I possess a couple of quirks that make this difficult. One, I tend to consider my house my house...a little peaceful oasis from the world. And I like to have a say ("control" is such a loaded word) over my time. If I want to run an errand, I want to load the kids in the car and go, not eject the neighborhood from my house and yard first. I'm just quirky like that.

But today I had three 13-year-olds in our front room, laughing and throwing hackysacks at each other, talking, and hanging out. It's not that this is the first time it's happened, it's just that for some reason today I had an epiphany. So I am resolving to say yes more often, aspiring to the rank of Kool-Aid mom. Here's the Kool-Aid mom manifesto as I see it:

- I will find reasons to say yes to more of the "can I...?" requests that come my way.
- I will go out of my way to host my kids' friends here.
- I will stay out of the room (but nearby) to avoid the dreaded "mom trying too hard to be one of us" syndrome.
- I will maintain a good supply of fuel (by fuel I mean junk food and snacks) for those who grace our presence.
- I will give the benefit of the doubt more often.
- I will smile more and hesitate less.
- I will remember that most kids need more adults in their lives believing in them and listening to them.
- I will take a deep breath when the noise/mess/enthusiasm swells to epic levels and later, ask for help to fix/clean/tidy what's become undone.
- I will enjoy these delicious, fleeting years.

So I have two questions: who are your favorite Kool-Aid moms? what advice or additions to the manifesto would you suggest?