Friday, October 22, 2010

Softie With An Edge

Today, my 3 year old son looked at me with doe-like eyes and asked "Mommy...can i have more cereal?" He had already had 3 previous helpings so the answer was clearly "no", especially since it was the cinnamon/sugary kind of cereal.

I responded "Yes, but this is the last portion you are going to have of cereal. Okay?" He nodded his head enthusiastically and ran to the table. Of course I said that the last time he asked for cereal for the third time (a half an hour before).

When did this tough city chick turn into a softie?

My hubby jokes with me every now and then, stating "You've lost your edge. That urban edge in you is gone." The edge being that urban "toughness" that I grew up having. The one I acquired while living and growing up in New York City. It's not a rudeness, just a tough, "I don't take no stuff" kind of attitude. One that tells others, "Don't mess with me. I know what's going on." It's a form of confidence that sometimes is acquired after having navigated your way through city living for many years -- whether you find yourself walking down a sketchy street in the middle of The Bronx (or Manhattan or Brooklyn, take your pick) or as you're pushing your way through the throngs of people you're surrounded by on your way to work. There is sort of a facade you acquire in order to handle the throngs of pushy (sometimes rude) people and the speedy cabs/cars that are constantly "almost" hitting you while you cross the streets on the way to work, home or whatever destination you're headed to.

After 4 moves in 6 years -- each move taking us futher away from living in the city, hubby delights in taunting me (in a lighthearted way). We've lived in two small towns and now a bigger, college town so it's been awhile since I have lived in the city. My many years in the Bronx seem almost foreign to me. Though it's funny, when I go back to visit, I go right back to having my tough edge (with a few holes in it).

"No, I haven't!" I say back defensively . "Never. I'm tough, city girl. You can take the girl out of the "city" but not the "city" out of the girl."

Except when I look into my son's eyes (any one of the three sons at any given moment) or I get the sweet request for a third glass of chocolate milk or a snack from their favorite fast food joint (I actually go out of my way to get them those mandarin oranges from Wendy's upon a moment's request!).

Am I a softie or is it a mama thing?

Right now my 3 year old is laying on me, insisting that my arms be around him as he watches his favorite t.v. show. I give in and put one arm around him as I decide to continue to type this blog entry with one hand (no easy feat for me). A few years ago, the person who wanted my affection in such a moment would just have to wait until I was done. Not anymore, I guess...

Ah...what birthing three babies has done to me (and possibly all those years living outside of the uban jungle). This tough, no-nonsense city girl is putty these days.

Maybe I have lost my edge?

Okay, I wouldn't quite say "lost".

Just call me a softie...with an edge.


  1. Sorry chickie, but you always had that softness inside of you just waiting to ooze out. ;-)

  2. "Softie... with an edge' sounds like the perfect way to be!

  3. Oh, yeah, it's real hard. I have 3 boys. And I'll tell you, it's hard to be tough when you need to reign them in.

    SO tough. And I tell them that, too. I say, "its not easy to be like this, I want to do what you ask, but it's not good for you, and I"d be a not so good mother to let this happen."

    They kinda like my honesty.

    Thanks for your sweet, encouraging comment today.

    Just a slice of life, with 3 boys. xo

  4. I say, it is a mama thing. The tough chick in you? You want her to stick around, to have your back. As a mama, there are moments you need her and they can come at the drop of a hat.


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