Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Best-Selling Blank Books
Although I've since learned many Mom lessons the hard way, I do wish someone had warned me a bit more about motherhood, especially the stressful conversations I'd be having with my children. For example, I've threatened for years to cut off all financial support to my children if they 1) Buy a motorcycle 2) Get a tattoo and/or 3) Pierce their bodies.
So when No. 1 son-the-cop recently telephoned with the announcement that at the age of 25, he'd fulfilled his longtime dream of purchasing a motorcycle, I was speechless. Then he proceeded to detail the tattoos he'll be getting. Again, stunned silence. "Mom, Mom, are you still there?" he finally said.
"I think your mother just fainted," advised his father from the extension.
"Just kidding about the tattoos, Mom," he laughed.
This was even less funny than the startling realization that motherhood looks different when you don't have anything to hold over your children's heads anymore. But after adjusting to the reality that my son carries a gun to work every day, I suppose a motorcycle doesn't seem so bad.
Meanwhile, No. 2 son's check-in call at the beginning of his Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge archaeology adventure as part of his college education began with, "I probably shouldn't tell you this...."
"The swamp is home to the largest concentration of black bears on the East Coast," he continued. "But don't worry. We've been given lots of safety instructions."
I struggled to remain calm and offer my standard response in stressful situations (the ones where I'm screaming inside): "That's nice, dear." But the screams in my head were getting louder, so I added, "Such as?"
"If you hear loud noises in the underbrush, be prepared to make loud noises in response," he said.
I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Then he offered: "And I probably shouldn't tell you this either, but I may get trained in using a machete."
The screams were now in danger of escaping into the atmosphere. "Will you be able to use the machete against the three types of poisonous snakes that inhabit the swamp? Because I'm really concerned about the snakes."
Then I'm going to sit down and design that cover for "What I Knew About Motherhood Before I Became a Mother." I think it probably should include a motorcycle and a machete, don't you?
What would the title of your blank book be?