when my ears go deaf, my vision gets blurry and I start a whole
different conversation in my head. You see, you can express yourself
and while I may not agree, it's your right to express yourself.
And when you start getting personal, I'm gonna bite my tongue and
picture your vagina playing Peek-A-Pube with me ten minutes before
I walk down the aisle. But when you attack me as a mother, when
my worst crime is keeping you from my baby, you've got a problem.
Low blow, unfair, all bets are off.
still rambling but I've already got my retort brewing in my head
and it's good. I've got a genius Cold Open, an elaborate story arc,
and a tear-rendering TAG at the end that will humiliate her for
years to come. I've thrown in some obscenities, have cultivated
the best way to throw in some family secrets, and have emptied her
closet of all skeletons. I'm going to tell her that after first
meeting her, I strongly considered not dating her son. I'll tell
her that if I'm rude and tightly wound, then her son has definitely
married his mother. And I'll top it off by telling her that a thriving
Cabaret career would be in her future were it not for two roadblocks
-- lack of talent and stage presence --otherwise she's a fantastic
performer. But then I stop and surprise myself, which seems to be
happening a lot lately.
biggest surprise I've faced as a new parent is how often I surprise
myself. I'm surprised by how much I love my little guy. I'm surprised
by how much time I can spend watching him roll and squeal with delight
as he discovers a new toy or texture. I'm surprised by how protective
I am of this delightfully charming new person. And I'm surprised
by how much need people approach a baby with. At seven and a half
months, a baby isn't responsible for fulfilling anyone's life. He's
not responsible for waking up early to play audience for a retiree
who misses the thrill of the office. And he's not responsible for
being the glue that keeps a distant family together.
in my Cabaret Singer-In-Law's Manhattan townhouse, I've surprised
myself again. I arrest my desire to slay her with the zingers I've
conjured in my head. I stop being a writer and remind myself I'm
a mother. What would my son say if I stooped as low as his grandma
and dwarfed her with insults? He wouldn't say, "Mommy she deserved
it." But he just might say, "Mommy you should do better."
my Cabaret Singer-In-Law, I'm a mother of one son and I too have
spent much of my life trying to have my moment. As a creative person,
I've fumbled through a failed acting career, a temporary personal
assistant career, and an upstart writing career that feels like
it just might be something. But honestly, the only thing I've done
really well is create a charming little baby who will someday be
humiliated by something I do at his wedding. And as much as I want
to make my mark, my son might actually be just that. He might be
the accomplishment in my life. He might be my moment. And when I
see him walk down the aisle and take the hand of some wonderful
girl he's crazy about, I hope I won't be standing in the wings showing
off my accessories. I hope I'll be reminded that his happiness is
my mark on the world.
instead of slaying an aging dreamer with insults, I take the high
road with a simple, "Well it sounds like we could all do better."
out of the room, husband and baby trailing closely behind. With
tears streaming down my cheeks. I head for the airport where in
six hours, two taxis, and one incredibly over stimulated baby later,
I'll be back at home, with my husband, my baby, and my issues all
to myself. And the next time my Cabaret Singer-In-Law asks to show
me her shoes, I'll simply say, "No thank you, I have a pair
of my own."
version for easy reading
material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission|