HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
January 8, 2007, Herald Journal

Just hanging out can be fun … even with mom

By JEN BAKKEN

The other night, my 16-year-old came out of his bedroom and said, “Hey mom, there’s something on TV that I think even you would like.”

Initially, I wasn’t sure how to take this. I wanted to ask him what he meant by ‘even’ me. But I decided to just accept the fact he was trying to include ‘even’ me in his teenage world.

The show was called “The 50 Best Devastating Hits in Sports History.” I fought the urge to do all my motherly duties. I had to put out of my mind the dirty laundry which was beginning to pile up, not only in the basket but on the floor. I forced myself not to think about the dishes in the sink or my dirty car, which needs to be cleaned before people start to think I live out of it.

I devoted all my attention to “The 50 Best Devastating Hits in Sports History.” My son and I spent an hour laughing and sometimes, cringing at the blows these athletes have taken.

A few times, I looked over at him and he would quickly say, with that annoyed tone, “What?”

I’d tell him, “Oh nothing.”

Only because I was fully aware that if I told him what I was thinking he would cringe more than he did watching Anaheim Mighty Ducks player Paul Kariya getting drilled by New Jersey Devils player Scott Stevens in 2003.

I’ve learned to hold back the sappy mom comments.

What I was thinking is how neat it can be to hang out with my son. The fact that he would include even me was cool in my book.

As our children get older, we, as parents, get used to taking a back seat to a lot of things like friends or sports. We also accept that we are not cool and we just don’t get it.

I suppose this is why the night was so much fun. He asked me to hang out with him, instead of having a million reasons not to.

Now, I might have pushed it when the next night I asked him to go sledding. He looked at me with his head tilted to the side and said, “You want to go sledding?” I worried he thought I was too old for this or thought of himself as too old but he agreed to go, rather quickly.

During my first trip down the steep hill at the Buffalo Golf Course, I actually screamed. I do not remember ever sliding at that speed.

Unfortunately, I put my feet down to try and slow the soaring orange sled. This action is not recommended, and you can probably imagine the amount of snow sprayed in my face. Then, my sled took a horrifying turn.

Unable to alter my speed, at all, I ended up going backwards the rest of the way.

Of course, this made my son laugh … mom is obviously old and a wimp, too!

After five trips down the hill, I didn’t think I’d be able to walk up again. I knew I would have to, though, if only to prove to my son that I’m not old, or a wimp, but luckily, he was also ready to go home.

I really enjoyed these two nights and though I’m sure my son won’t admit it, I think he did too.

It proves that just hanging out can be fun… even with mom.

Tiny Tales is a column dedicated to children in our community and the times when they create a wonderful story to tell. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, family member, caregiver, teacher, or anyone with a child in you life . . . there’s always a tiny tale to tell.

It may be cute or funny things a child has said or done; any of those endearing moments you’d love to share with others, and people, like me, enjoy reading.

Here in Delano, we are proud of our community, our schools, and our children . . . why not have a column about our little ‘tigers’?

You can e-mail your tiny tales to; jbakken@hjpub.com or mail them to Tiny Tales, PO Box 498, Delano, MN 55328, or just stop by our office next to New Attitudes Salon, Hwy 12 East.