Monday, May 17, 2010

Holy Crap, They're Graduating — CMB Post

This was originally posted on the now defunct Chicago Moms Blog.

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.

When Susan Bearman isn't having nightmares about her diminishing authority, she can be found writing at Two Kinds of People and The Animal Store Blog, as well as freelancing at Oh yeah, and Twittering @2KoP. This is an original Chicago Moms Blog post. 

1 comment:

Susan Bearman said...

These comments were made on the Chicago Moms Blog originally posting of this piece:

Melisa with one S said...
I'm with ya. I have one graduating on Sunday and I spend my days on the River of Denial too. I'm surprised we haven't seen each other. :)

May 17, 2010 at 04:00 AM

Susan @ 2KoP said in reply to Melisa with one S...
I'll be sure to wave when we reach the delta.

May 17, 2010 at 08:47 AM

kim/hormonecoloreddays said...
Seriously, if I my oldest does not mock me until he's 18, I'll be happy. I don't think he'll hold off that long. Congrats on the big day!

May 17, 2010 at 08:17 PM

Susan Bearman said in reply to kim/hormonecoloreddays...
Oh, I'm sure they mock me, but to date they have not had the nerve to do it to my face because I hold all the power. For three more weeks, anyway.

May 17, 2010 at 08:21 PM

Lori Eckholm-Prang said...
oh Susan ... I am so there with you also. Up until this hectic month called May the mere thought of graduating would give me a lump in my throat. I am dreading the first note of Pomp and Circumstance. And I think I'll be kinder to my parents from now on...or not!

May 17, 2010 at 08:18 PM

Susan @ 2KoP said in reply to Lori Eckholm-Prang...
Lori, I think our four babies together weighed as much at birth as my youngest one did. Can you believe we are here?

May 17, 2010 at 08:22 PM

Fabalawellerstein said...
Super Mama: Able to ground, revoke privileges and bake brownies in one mighty fell swoop! And boy are we grateful, and boy were those brownies yummy.

Thanks for being super Mama, and I promise I won't mock (too much)!

See, you're fretting about me graduating, I'm fretting - I've got nine days left, and have I started my 12 page paper / looked at my French portfolio / started my psych project... No. Eek!

And if it helps, I'll just mock Dad.

May 17, 2010 at 08:40 PM

Susan @ 2KoP said in reply to Fabalawellerstein...
You are such a brilliant girl on so many levels.

May 17, 2010 at 08:42 PM

Karen Putz said...
I'll be there next year when my oldest graduates. I'm so not ready.

May 18, 2010 at 02:50 AM