Mom Memories: The Un-Fun Mommy
posted by: Guest Blogger
When I was a child, I was imaginative, inventive, and enterprising. I loved to write stories, sing songs, recite poetry, and direct elaborate theatrical productions with my brother and cousins. As an adult, I look back on my creative childhood escapades with great fondness, yet now that I am a parent, I am aware of the other side of the curtain. In my fuzzy nostalgic hindsight, I recall that my parents were quite skilled at masking their discomfort with our awkward acting skills and bad jokes. They were, in a word, indulgent. I feel I owe it to my offspring to tolerate their theatrics with the same amount of decorum.
You see, my six-year-old daughter, Izzy, possesses at least as much, if not more, ingenuity, verbosity, and intensity that I had as a child, and I am now forced to relive my childhood genius through the eyes of a spectator. Izzy pours all her energy, not to mention an alarming amount of paper products, into preparing for her special events: concerts, parades, plays, and menus. It is a rare week in our household when we are not invited to a special “restaurant,” “hotel,” or performance of some sort.
May I make a confession? I do not enjoy playing. I am the un-fun parent in our house. I am the Mommy who has no imagination and a limited amount of patience for the messy, time-consuming, and tedious products of my daughter’s creative brain. While I am quite capable of being an audience member, I absolutely loathe the performances that require crowd participation. Words cannot describe how uncomfortable I feel when rallying fake enthusiasm after being summoned “on stage.” And yet, I feel compelled to play along with her games, no matter how irritating, as breaking character to give her a reality check seems tantamount to breaking her spirit.
Throughout my six and a half years as a mother, I have discovered that my children’s antics are often equal parts endearing and annoying. The great dichotomy of motherhood never ceases to amaze me- I can be filled with irritation as my typing is interrupted by yet another invitation to a “special performance,” and then the next moment my eyes are filled with tears when I realize how much effort she put into hand-writing the program.
My worry is that only hindsight will provide me with the clarity and perspective for this fleeting, magical stage of childhood. Even now, though I may grit my teeth as my children’s messy frolicking and shenanigans have caused us to leave the house late, I look back on events that happened a mere six months ago with nostalgia and a distinctly rose-tinted lens. The other day I came across a sloppily scrawled message from my daughter to me, pasted inside a paper heart: “Mommy. You are the bst Mommy evr.” She had given it to me a year ago, when she was five, and I wondered if in that moment, I had realized just how precious a gift it was.
Guest blogger Stephanie Sprenger is a music therapist, teacher, writer, blogger, and most importantly, the mother of two young daughters. She works part-time teaching early childhood music classes in the metro Denver area, and in her spare time you can find her writing, singing, yoga-ing, and spewing parental angst on her blog, Mommy, for real. (www.stephaniesprenger.com)