Public Service Announcement

Posted on July 21, 2010


This is your mom.

This is your mom on 3 hours sleep.

Any questions?

You may be too young to remember, but that series of words always brings to mind an egg sizzling in a frying pan. It was the dawn of public service announcements regarding dangers of drugs, and yes, that was my brain. So they said. What they didn’t say was that that was my brain after parenting for decades.

I KNOW that it is not good parenting strategy to attempt to close someone’s mouth with my foot, but I’ve honestly envied that bird those toes many a time.

Today, was a good day. Child 2 and Child 3 have lightweight bazillion dollar hiking shoes for their trek to the top of Mt. Everest next week. “Light as air! They should make these for basketball shoes!” So goes the gratitude. Backpacking tents? Check. Camelbaks? Check. All kinds of cool gear? Check. The boy scout shelf has been unloaded in the storage room. They’ll soon be off on an adventure. It’s all good.

It’s not like I never want to pull my lower lip over my head anymore. It’s just elasticing back into shape from last weekend. But I laugh a lot more than I used to when everything was a life or death situation, and someone’s poor manners might spell the end of civilization as we know it.

Child ?, who shall remain unnumbered, slumped in rolling steps through Sportsman’s Warehouse today wanting to know when back to school shopping was going to occur, and I simply said, “next week.” And raised my eyebrows, which was a subtle third base signal for “if you say another word about it you will not eat for 14.7 days or see the outside of your room before school starts.” See? Progress!

It’s good to roll with some things. Child 1 called to say that she needed me and/or my hand-held bypass trimmers, because a highly localized tornado (not the granddog, I hasten to add) landed on her cherry tomatoes today and knocked the 6-foot wonders over. With big grins, as I had been there Saturday when we trimmed everything last and said, “Oh, cherry tomatoes are trees, let them grow, nothing could happen,” we gave them crew cuts just over the cages, while her eye-rolling actually was at a minimum. And she laughed too.

Most days, honestly, are good days. Gone are the days of falling into bed exhausted. It’s probably because I’m not chasing Thing 1-7 around the house anymore and they aren’t consistently in danger of shaving the cat. But it’s probably because I’ve loosened up a bit. (Child 1, this is your cue if you wish to articulate all the ways I’ve loosened up, speeding the coming of the Lord and the fall of democracy.)

It’s a good trade for me. I like the people I love lots better when I’m not even contemplating closing their mouth with my foot. I may have fewer brain cells, but I have better heart cells.

Remind me, was I frying eggs?

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