Thursday, August 25, 2005
The Mask

I have a very hard time getting my kids to take me seriously. Brian says it's because of all the practical jokes I played on them when they were growing up. Amber says it's because I've done so many weird things in my life that nothing suprises them anymore. For my part, I think they have just become way too conservative and lack imagination.

Most of the time I like to think I've been a fairly good mom, loving, kind, wise and so on--the mom who packed a healthy lunch for her kids, took them to plays and museums, read them stories, and attended PTA meetings.

Then there is the other mom who thinks farts are funny, sees nothing wrong with hanging a nude portrait of their grandmother in the living room , and won't hesitate to buy good art supplies but thinks brand name clothing is a waste of money. This is also the same mom who innocently suggested to her horrified six year old that he wear his sister's underpants when he ran out of clean underwear for school.

My husband says I remind him of a bad child who can't resist the opportunity to pull some crazy stunt. I prefer to think of it as having an "inspired moment."

Take for example the time I decided to use one of those clear, peel-off facial masks to clean my pores. Having waited for ten boring minutes for the stuff to dry, I came up with a brilliant plan.

"Brian!?" I called frantically.

A head poked around the bathroom door. "Yeah, mom?"

"Come here a minute. I need you to take a look at something."

Brian cautiously entered the bathroom. "What is it?"

I ran my hands over my face."God, Brian, I'm so scared. I think there's something wrong with my face. Please, can you take a look at it for me?" My eyes welled up with tears.

My son came a little closer. "What's wrong with it?" he asked suspiciously.

"It's my skin," I wailed. "I think it's coming off. Look!"

To Brian's utter horror I peeled off a huge strip of the clear facial mask. He screamed and backed away, his arms flailing and his legs sort of running place.

"Help me," I wailed piteously pulling off another chunk off my cheek for dramatic effect.

"MOM! You're losing your skin! Oh my GOD!" His voice rose in panic, and he looked around frantically for help. "Should I call 911 or the doctor or something? I think you should go to the hospital!" He hopped first on one foot then the other, torn between fascination and fear.

I couldn't hold back any longer and started laughing. My son stared at me as though I had lost my mind. When I regained enough control to show him the tube of facial mask, he was thoroughly disgusted and stomped out of the room. To this day he has absolutely no sympathy for any physical ailment I might have. He says he figures it's karma coming back to get me.

Personally, I think he's just annoyed he hadn't come up with the idea first.
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Memories and musings shared by Juno
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I'm a 40-something writer, artist, and Jill-of-All-Trades. For me, magic is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. My writing tends to take me to unexpected places--not so surprising when I think about it. I had an unusual growing up and have always chosen the offbeat over the "safe". I prefer interesting people over beautiful ones, and I am fascinated by people's stories. What I love most about life is its glorious imperfections and fantastic plot twists.

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