Saturday, March 29, 2008

Soccer Mom Status Report

Okay, I have not yet gotten a minivan, but I have made some progress in my journey toward soccer mom. Breaking news: I am the proud owner of a glue gun. Now, I am not crafty by nature. For instance, scrap booking will never be in my future--I don't have the patience or the organization for it. I have several unfortunate 4-H sewing projects in my dark past, one of which still circulates the close-knit community in which I was raised as a maternity dress. And I have a large bin containing fabric scraps and two completed quilt squares that I worked on in my early teen years. But the boys and I checked out a book on nature-based crafts, and they are begging to make totem poles and gourd rattles and arrows from scraps around the yard, so I felt a glue gun was a necessity.

On the vehicle front, I am moving up in the world, even though I have yet to attain that minivan. We have had a good week with our cars. Craig FINALLY got our jeep fixed, which has been up on blocks, sans tires, since December. Although the broken down car look really worked with the overall landscaping theme in our yard (I like to think of it as creatively trashy) it is good to have something to drive besides our diesel Mercedes, since diesel is up to $4.20 per gallon. I do always feel classy driving our Mercedes, especially since I cleaned out all of the old Starbucks cups (see! I could be a soccer mom!) and bailed two gallons of water out of the bottom of the car. There is a hole in the roof of the car and we have had torrential March rain showers--although there is something so whimsical about donning rubber boots for a car trip.

So, okay, I might be biking or jogging Luke to a soccer game, or arriving in a loud and smelly Mercedes. Oh, right, except that he has no interest in soccer. Every few months we get a catalogue in the mail from our local community center advertising available classes. Luke doesn't want to take soccer. Nor is he interested in swimming lessons, the other common destination for a minivan. Last term, Luke enrolled in "Superhero Spectacular." Next term he wants to take a class about spying. Even Luke's more mainstream interest in "ninja moves" has morphed into a near-obsession with capoeira, a strange, dance-like martial art. Not that I don't think it is cool. It just doesn't help us fit in.

Henry is my more mainstream guy, I think. Craig is always going to be an idiosyncratic mathematician. Luke is always going to push the envelope. But Henry. I can definitely see him as a soccer player. Of course, at the rate he is going, he will be running around the field talking faster than he can run. I don’t remember this with Luke. Is there a verbal diarrhea phase of language development? Oh, and Henry still has his little “crossed wire” problem where he just randomly cannot remember certain words and so substitutes other, inappropriate words in their place.

“Mommy, remember that fing? That fing we give to Cleo?” Henry asks. I don’t know any Cleo.

“Who is Cleo, Henry?” I ask.

“My friend Cleo, when we went to the party? The fing? The little fing we talk wiff? What that fing?”

The only party I can remember is a birthday party for our little friend Laura.

“Do you mean Laura, Henry?” I ask.

“Yes, Laura. The fing? The fing we talk wiff? That little pink fing? Cleo get it and talk wiff it?” Henry goes on. And on. And on. And I still have no idea what the “fing” is.

“And Cleo fights with her sister about the fing? The fing that is called . . . I can’t know,” he pauses, finally. “Cleo and her sister fight, and fight, and fall down.” He pauses again, looking into the distance as if remembering.

“But God loves us anyway!” he finally proclaims.

Yes, in addition to the verbal outpourings, the forgotten words and the strange substitutions, Henry likes to provide his patient listeners with an (often baffling) moral to the story.

I have heard that to realize a dream you must first see it in your mind. So here is my soccer mom aspiration: We arrive at the soccer field in our bio-diesel Mercedes. Because of fueling our car on waste fast food oil, we smell like McDonalds, so that works in our favor. Henry runs out to warm up while Craig sits in the bleachers reading a woodworking book and Luke sulks around in the shadows spying on people. The game starts. Henry gets benched for talking too much. I strike up conversations with several of the moms around me, and, lo and behold, I hit it off with someone. Because I won’t ever be a soccer mom, not really, but if I just keep working to find my place in this new place, I might finally do it.

And there’s always Cleo. She’ll be my friend. And if not, God loves me anyway.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Cleo is Chloe from Chicago....I remember conversations like this with you....most times if I asked for enough clues, I would finally figure it out. Remember the time you were describing the little green snacks to me? They were round and they came in the little green packages that you opened up and then ate them? We went on for a few minutes before you said that we got them out of the garden...they were PEAS!!!! I love this blog...especially the imagined scene at the soccer field. I think that it is funny that you write about becoming a soccer mom and, at age 55, I still drive a mini van (once you drive one, you will be hooked for life) and am STILL a soccer mom. I think I'm gonna miss it in a few years. Love, Mom

alaskapeter said...

"Now, I am not crafty by nature."

Well, I wouldn't go THAT far, Ser. I love the new entry, as always.


Anonymous said...

It's family comment time!
I wish you and I could walk laps together around the imaginary soccer field. That would be fun.

I love you!

so yung said...

Hi Ser (Jane, Mara & Peter),

I loved this entry as well. I've yet to be disappointed - all posts are satisfying.

I would venture to guess that there are many, many more people who "love you anyway" - even if the folks around Worthington are somehow missing the radiance that is your personality. I'm starting to wonder about the intelligence of these folks.

I tried to leave a comment yesterday, but for some reason it didn't take and it was much more clever and witty than this boring comment that's coming out today (I cannot recall what I wrote other than something about Lent and letting Luke practise his spying skills on me when we're up in May).

Anyway, please, please, please do not let too much time pass before you post your next blog. I LOVE them! and you too of course.