Most days, I dream of being the quintessential urban mom.
I’d sport high-heeled suede boots and a coat that follows whatever trend has been featured lately in the Style section of the Sunday Times as I take my son to the playground. Or I’d show up for my daughter’s third-grade teacher conference perfectly coiffed and enter data about little Madison’s improved reading skills in my palm pilot. When I stop on the way home from an oh-so-busy day to meet a friend for a glass of Pinot Noir at some chic bistro, my driver would keep the engine of my black oversize Escalade idling out front. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I attend a hot yoga class, I’d barely sweat. The only problem with this dream is that it’s not me. And unless I go through some shape-shifting, life-altering transformation, it never will be. (Although my son, Harry, tells me there’s still hope if I became a Transformer.)Instead, I live about an hour outside a big City. My only child and object of all my affection is Harry, a second grader. He plays town soccer and throws a football in the back yard with his father when we can peel him off the couch. We live with five pets – two large Labs, a 26-pound cat with Nantucket paws, and Car and Truck – two very smelly rabbits. I even drive a Volvo, the backseat of which is filled with Goldfish cracker crumbs, Pokemon cards, and completed schoolwork that I have no place to store because my basement floods with relative regularity and yet I can’t bear to throw out because these papers mark various milestones – or pebbles – in Harry’s education. (My personal favorite is a math worksheet to solve the riddle: What did one eye say to the other? Answer: Something between us smells. Now there’s $25,000 of tuition dollars at work.)
When I had my son later in life (I was 35), I vowed I’d be the parent that gave him only pureed organic vegetables and wooden toys. There would be absolutely, positively no television or electronics of any kind. He certainly wouldn’t get a present every time we went to the Super Stop ‘n Shop, and under no circumstances would we be Family Bedsters. This fantasy – like my urban motherhood myth – lasted all of about two hours, when, during his first night on the planet, Harry screamed uncontrollably until he was curled up by my side in the hospital bed. Our house is now a repository for every conceivable piece of plastic. Harry got a Nintendo DS for Christmas; I went on eBay to find a Wii; and I’ve even been known to pay him to babysit himself by watching the Disney Channel.Why the switch? First of all, I quickly discovered that I was mortal. Motherhood presented challenges I never knew I’d face – like saying “No” for starters. And having come from a family of girls to now raise a son presents a particular array of challenges – most of which have to do with an overload of testosterone. These are what I’ll share in Nancy’s News. It’s a mother’s musings, which I hope you’ll find amusing.
Let me know what you think.