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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Magic Camp

Summer is just around the corner.  It must be a very large corner because I have been ready for about 3 months now.  Don and I are fortunate enough to be home in the summer. I often day dream about our summer days, especially on a day like today. The very first thing that my boss said to me as I walked in the door was " I have melanoma, come look at this mole!"  I prayed that it is in a place that is typically not covered by clothes and I thought of about 400,000 other things I would have preferred to look at.  Begrudgingly I abbliged and if that wasn't enough, he google imaged cancerous mole and showed me.  I guess I can add that to my list of things you should never google image, right under "rash".
As I try un-see what I have just seen, I make my way into my office.  My blackberry chimed a reminder entitled "Magic Camp".  I knew my mind would subconsciously suppress the reminder and that why I added it to my calendar.  As much as we love summer, experience has taught us that after about 5 days of family bliss we will be wanting the boys to get out of the house.  That is why some genius invented summer camps.  There are several local camps. science camp, wilderness camp, soccer camp, golf camp, baseball camp. But my son doesn't want any of those. He wants Magic Camp. * note I am
jazz-hands-ing in sarcasm whenever I say it.  If he didn't look exactly like my husband I would think he was switched at birth.  I don't have anything against magicians really, but when I think of one, I recall waiting for a table at the Outback Steakhouse and one coming over to pull a hanky from his wand..or maybe that was a clown? I digress.
So I go to the website for the local Magic camp. It is 5 days a week for one week from 8- 1.  That is an awful lot of card tricks. And if that info wasn't enough, it shows a picture of previous magic camp attendees. Magic Alumnus if you will.  I know all kids are unique and special and all that, but these two boys are about 57 pounds and 5 feet tall. As pale as a white rabbits and wearing tiedye.  I have a hard enough time getting Fin out of the basement as it is. This may be the slippery slope deep into never-get -a-date-ville, and if that is the case, he WILL live in my basement forever.   As I perused the website I discovered that the minimum age is 8, Finegan is 7. Eureka!  I decide to email the guy just to be sure.  I don't know if its a magic trick, but I got the email returned instantly. Undeliverable.  That means I have to call him. Ugh. Thankfully I got an answering machine.
Hello you have reached the bla bla residence and also STEEEVVEEE the MAAGGICIAN! Please leave a message.  Of course his name is Steve.  Other than David Copperfield and Criss Angel I think all magicians are named Steve.  And come to think of it, David and Criss don't even call themselves magicians anymore, they are "mind freaks". I leave a message and hope I said my number too fast.  I didn't. He calls back while I'm in the shower and Don answers.
Don seems to miss "major issues" that are going on in our family.  I know I have told him the age dilemma crisis regarding magic camp, but its seems that he put on his autopilot face and stored way way back somewhere in his brain. Right next to a few other key things that make our family function.  I actually said this very sentence to him this morning,
" If I just decided to take a break from my daily house hold duties we would have starving, dirty, rabidness naked kids running through the house" I was referring to the fact that for the past few days I have been the only person who has grocery shopped, planned meals,  cooked, cleaned, did laundry and got our dog immunized.  But who is keeping track right?
So when the person on the other end of the phone line said, hello this is Steve the magician returning your call, Don was dumfounded and was waiting for the punchline.
Cue Don entering the bathroom to interrupt my glorious shower with "Did you call a magician?"  I wanted to say yes, so I could magically turn you into a husband who cares!  But I didn't. I knew he was holding the phone and that our conversation could be heard so I gave him the look. The look that says
 HELLO?  Have you not overheard our son's monologue that has been on a loop that goes a little like this, (Have you called the magician? Have you called the magician? Have you called the magician?")
Women underestimate how well we communicate with our eyes.  It was then that Don awakened from his coma and started talking to the magician and thankfully left the bathroom so I could finish my shower.
 Two minutes later , cue Don entering the bathroom AGAIN. He said that the magician had agreed to let him attend the camp even though he is 7 only if Don could vouch that he is serious about magic.  Don confidently did and now our son is on the list, and a very short list I'm sure.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm not Mama Cass

Recently I went to a sing-a-long at Jack's pre-school.  I hadn't gone all year and I thought that before this school year is over (4 days away) I should. I remember when I had school functions and both of my parents were there.  And for what it was worth, I thought they enjoyed every second of it.  Why wouldn't they like sitting in a crowded gym watching kids nervously mumble song lyrics?
I arrived early and got a great seat so I didn't have to sit on the floor. I saw my son march in with his class and his eyes searching for me and when he finally saw me he lit up.  I had instant guilt at the thought of all the other times he searched for me and I wasn't there.  Now whatever excuse I used as to why I couldn't seems unacceptable.
As more and more parents arrived I began to notice something. I am NOT like the other moms. I wonder if I ever will be.  As they began to sing-along another mom knew all the lyrics and she sat with her child on her lap and they harmonized in a perfect explosion of mother child bonding.  I mouthed the words the best I could and sipped my latte. But when Jack would turn to me, I gave him the thumbs up, our family's universal sign that we are paying attention.
I looked around and almost everyone seemed to know the words. One of the songs was, and I am not joking, called My Pussy. Seriously, and it was like a riddle, My pussy is fuzzy, and she blows in the wind.. or something like that.
I had to choke back laughter. I scanned the room for any other parents so I could smile at and share the sordidly perverted notion of this song.  Nobody. I was in my own private hell and thinking, ok how on Earth can all of you perfect parents know this song and NOT think its ridiculous, even if it is about a pussy willow? The next song was about a turtle and its head. Turtle head. And the teacher had a hand puppet that she would navigate the turtles head in and out. Again, why isn't anyone else finding humor in this song?
I glance over to Mama Cass, I call her that because she is a modern day hippie.  Although she is not fat, she has pig tails. My first rule is never trust an adult woman with pigtails.  She isn't wearing any makeup and she appears to be wearing an ensemble made from hemp.  I can't be certain, but I think her daughter is wearing the same thing.  She is swaying with her daughter in her lap, sitting criss-cross- apple-sauce. In case you don't know, that is the PC version of Indian style.   And as I watch her I become increasingly aware of my inadequacies.
I am brought back to reality because it is now time for Jack to do his harmonica quartet. Where did he get that harmonica, and once I see the 20 cent price tag I remember he got it from a neighbors yard sale. I thought I disposed of that long ago, but like a ouiga board it just keeps coming back. 
I have now finally looked at him long enough to decide that the hair cut my husband gave him is not as good as I once thought. He looks like a punk skater. His bangs are angled and long and the sides and back are very short.  He is wearing a size 3 shirt ( he is a size 5) and size 6 shorts.  If I would have known he was going to be wearing a name tag while standing on display, I would have put more thought into his outfit.  His face is turning more and more red and I realize that he is forgetting to breath. His eyes are looking at me in a panic, but I give him the thumbs up and I am proud of him for his tenacity. Its finally finished and he comes over to sit next to me and whispers that he feels dizzy. I pray he doesn't pass out because I too am a fainter and it may get ugly, plus I wouldn't know what to do. I continue to scan the other parents and what I realize is that Mama Cass isn't the only one who knows all the words ( and is wearing hemp I might add).  I feel like a lame parent.

It goes back to how I pictured myself as a mom, or how I pictured my mom when I was a kid.  Maybe she didn't enjoy every moment of every little concert, but I at least thought she did.  At this point in my life I assumed I would be one of those moms who knew all the words to my kids songs or knew exactly what they were doing at school. The truth is, I don't.  In fact, sometimes I even get their ages wrong.  I catch my mistake quickly though. But I feel like an idiot when someone asks my children's ages and I pause, think and say " 9,8, no wait...7, 4 or is he 5? and 2."
I have to admit that I may have more on my plate then some of these parents. After all, I have 4 kids, a needy boss ( who could be considered a 5th kid), a husband and 2 dogs.   I was also recovering from an outpatient surgery and I was on percocet when this was all happening, and that may have led to my inappropriate giggle at the pussy song.  Regardless, I  was left feeling like I haven't yet matured into the parent that knows everything and anything about their child. I wonder if I need a new app to help with that.
As the sing-along-concluded with a good-bye song, the teacher asked if anyone knew another way to say goodbye. Jack jumped up and raised his hand and when called on he said " au revoir "with perfect French diction! Wait a second.  That was my son!  A collective gasp could be heard and he reveled in
the attention as he turned around and smiled at me.  I may not be feeding him organic, gluten free carob quinoa cookies, but I have been letting him watch a French dvd and books that seem to have penetrated his brain! Even if it was just a babysitter so I could make dinner.  My heart swells with pride and I give him two thumbs up although he clearly deserved more. He blows me a kiss and is on his way to lunch.  I may not be the au natural mom I envisioned myself to be, but to him, not knowing the words to his songs didn't matter, because in this case all that matters were my thumbs which I now realize are at the end of my fully extended arms which are in the air. He doesn't see a dorky mom, he sees that I fanatically approve and that is after all, what matters most.