Now is the olden days for my kids. They will barely remember me in the background with my weird outfits and dated interests. They will probably remember my blogging just like I remember my mom’s tole-painting. The meals I serve will surely be the source of future jokes like my own mom’s notorious offering: “slop.” And then my meals will probably be missed when the kids are old enough to cook for themselves. And here’s the thing: They will think that no matter what I make for dinner tonight.
They will probably remember our house as either immaculate and organized or messy and embarrassing, depending on their mood and agenda at the time. Maybe some day my son will buy a Wii on Ebay for his kids just like I bought Merlin for my kids a few years ago.
Sometimes I worry about our tackier family traditions, such as rewarding the kids after Saturday chores with a trip to the gas station for Spicy Cheetos or “getting” to sleep in your clothes if you “go to bed right this second.” I can only hope that the further in time we move away from our rituals, the quainter they will seem in my children’s memories, like when old people reminisce about the clump of raw honey in their lunch buckets or their incomprehensible fondness for horehound.
When I think about my childhood, my friends and I are the main players. Our parents occasionally had humorous walk-on roles, like my friend’s dad yelling at us in his underwear at a sleepover or my mom getting hit in the head with a Styrofoam airplane. Parents: Aren’t they funny? Aren’t they weird?
It’s a pretty big milestone when you realize your parents have a life. I’m not sure it happens until you are an adult. It’s another milestone when you have your own kids and realize what a big deal you are to your parents. But by then you are busy obsessing over what your kids eat and how long they read while they are blissfully unaware of how into them you are.
My sister was trying to get her son to have his band practice in her garage. She’s such a cool mom–she got my nephew a bass in the first place so he could start the band. But it doesn’t matter. He and his friends probably think, “Isn’t she funny? Isn’t she weird?” Because that’s the price of being a mom. (You might also lose your figure and a lot of sleep.) Some day he’ll sound like Paul McCartney telling about how his mum bought him his first bass at the five and dime.
I just hope I seem really glamorous and wholesome in retrospect–like Carol Brady.