Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too Happy Mother

I wrote this a couple of years ago when Amity was ten. It only gets worse!

I am an embarrassment to my ten year old daughter, Amity.
She says, “Here Mom, take the cat’s cradle.”
She extends her complex world of string to me. She’s critical of my clumsy interception. I can’t hand off without losing the design. I love trying. She’s critical of that, too. “Just do it Mom, don’t be so happy about it.”
My enthusiasm, which once bolstered her attempts to walk and spurred her efforts to read, now makes her cringe. The age of double digits arrives with an attitudinal shift.
I wish Amity could’ve known my mother in her heyday. She was the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever known.
“I’m going to the opera tonight, root-toot-toot!” my mother crowed to my best girlfriend’s mom.
“Root-toot-too-oot,” we mimicked her, scowling at her joy.
She was way too happy for two ten-year-olds to handle. It was embarrassing, having such a happy mother. Mom cherished her nights at the opera. It was her escape from the mundane life she’d come to expect; her ticket to ride to the rapturous places in her heart and dangle her toes in the creative spring. She came home warbling.
Children are naturally effusive, but as they grow, learn to suppress strong emotion to appear mature. They equate maturity with seriousness, and expect their adults well done, never rare. Sudden eruptions of happiness rattle them.
Last weekend, Amity and I enjoyed the show Wicked for the third time. This is something we can still share. But now, she warns me as the curtain rises, “Don’t get too hyper, Mom.”
She knows the moments when I’m likely to rise from my seat in an attempt to defy gravity. She’s already preparing to hold me down.
She whispers things to me like, “Check out the set changes,” and “That didn’t happen last time.”
She retains contact in an attempt to curb my enthusiasm. I refuse to acquiesce. Wicked is my current root-toot-toot.
I suspect that Amity’s embarrassment will separate us throughout her teenage years. But later when life extends its complicated designs, I hope that together we’ll embrace the root-toot-toot moments.
Happy Mothers' Day everyone.

1 comment:

adriene crimson said...

That's a wonderful story, Tracy. I'm really happy you posted this blog so I can follow it.