Holy Crap, They're Graduating
Dateline Evanston: Micro-preemie Twins Graduate from High School; Mom's Non-stop Weeping Earns World Record
Denial is the thumb in the dyke holding back the deluge of tears that I know is coming. So far, it's working pretty well.
The fact that it's May helps. May used to be a pleasant, benign month, the waiting room for summer. Now, it's a whirlwind of award ceremonies, school concerts, final projects, class picnics, paperwork and soccer games. If you could see my color-coded calendar, you'd weep right along with me.
This year, May bustle is my lifeboat down the River of Denial, and I'm grateful. Each morning, I focus on one square of the calendar, and take things one day, nay, one event at a time.
But the subconscious is an uncooperative entity, and I'm having a much harder time keeping things in perspective during my short, fitful hours of sleep. For example, last night my dream-state kept pelting me with the reality that the twins really are going to graduate in just a few weeks. And what did the devil on the shoulder of my subconscious whisper in my ear?
"You are old."
"Well, OK, maybe not old, but you are definitely not young. Only not-young people have children who are high school graduates."
It also revealed to me that my role is about to change. Growing up, I had nothing but respect for my parents. (In the case of my mom, it was more like fear. She is all of 5' 2" and tiny, but she has the best mom glare you have ever seen. It worked every time.)
That was until my brother and I graduated from high school, when it all changed. Our parents became the subject of endless mockery — by us, their adoring offspring. It was gentle mocking, but mocking nonetheless. Every foible, every tiny misstep was held up for ridicule. They were easy targets and pretty good sports. I'm not sure I have it in me to become the butt of my kids' jokes. Oy, I can see it now:
"Remember how Mama lost her keys every morning?" — followed by exaggerated pantomimes of me tearing apart the house in an eternal quest for the elusive keys.
"Remember Mama's escalating rants in the car while schlepping us around?" — followed by shrill mimicry of me losing my mind about something ridiculous.
"Remember how Mama always corrected everybody's grammar? Like the time she whipped out her Sharpie and crossed out '10 items or less' and wrote '10 items or fewer' on the sign at the Jewel?" (OK, I don't apologize for that. Once an editor, always an editor.)
I woke up in a cold sweat. This is not fair. I'm not ready.
I am Mighty-Mama, in absolute control of your electronics and play dates. I have the power of grounding and time out. I know your most embarrassing secrets and, if necessary, I am not afraid to use them.
I am Mama. Thou Shalt Not Mock.