Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stage Mother

My complicated relationship with the role of 'stage mother' continues to evolve. Mostly, I try to view having an enthusiastic child actor much the way I view having an enthusiastic Little Leaguer or enthusiastic reader--just part of normal life.

But here's the problem with 'normal life' in our family. So Stryker shows a propensity for reading? I start a 'boys book club' and make sure it's featured (prominently) in the local newspaper. Stryker signs up for Little League and within a few weeks, not only am I on the board but am elemental in securing a hundred thousand dollar grant for the organization.

Throwing a huge party when you finish your doctorate sounds right, but what does it say about someone's sense of proportion when she makes the event an annual occurrence-- that grows in scope and complexity each year. I remember having a conversation with Elizabeth Dickinson about Xcel's coal fired power plant, located blocks from our house. "We should really make that change that thing to gas." Clean Energy Now was born and Xcel successfully bullied, with yours truly as one of the lead gadflies. Oh-- and when Stryker picked up a yo-yo, who secured private lessons and helped pave his path to a national tournament--which he won! Go Stryker!

I don't write this to toot my own horn (toot toot) but to make the larger point about going full throttle.

So, if we view acting like reading, playing baseball or tossing a yo-yo -- you know, take the casual, low-key, it's no big deal stance -- we see that this stance is utterly foreign to me. Just doesn't exist.

As for Scarlett, this is the question she asks me on a daily basis: "Mommy, is my agent a boy or a girl and have you set up that meeting?"

Uh oh.


I realize that if I'm going to blog, I'm actually going to have to sit down and write. So here's a tiny vent, and thanks to Esti for the punch line.

I was dropping off Scarlett at the Guthrie last Saturday morning and there was nowhere to park, just nothing. All I had to do was open the door and walk her ten feet into the lobby and the waiting arms of the child supervisor, so I parked illegally (right at the start of the walking mall where the Mill City Farmer's Market is) for less than 30 seconds. Consider I have quite possibly inconvenienced someone for 30 seconds and am driving a mini-van with a 12 inch metallic peace sign on the side door.

I get in my van and am backing up, when I see a well-dressed middle aged man closing the door of an SUV about ten feet away and signaling for me to stop, waving his arms. Pretty wife and dog peer out from the front seat. He walks up to me as I'm rolling down the window and he screams: "You can't park here! Use your head! What's wrong with you?"

After getting up to the window for the final yell, he turns around and storms back. I mean: even though I was driving away and removing the offending vehicle from his path, he was so enraged that he stopped the process (further delaying his important self from whatever item he was probably about to buy) in order to yell at me.

Guess that peace sign really pissed him off.