Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hot Flashes/Power Surges: All Hail The Queen

This is a comment I wrote at Queen of Spain in response to Erin's entry about how hard it is to find your tribe amongst the other moms at your kid's school. I'm actually lucky in that among the parents of Lief's pals are a number of lovely wackos whom I love dearly (TFlem and Di, I'm talking about you). Re-reading this, I've realized that I'm actually lucky--and have new appreciation for the fabulous women in my life who make this parenting adventure so much more fun than it would be if I were truly on my own.

I really shouldn't work late at night--it makes me maudlin. Anyhow. . . .

Those Grade One classrooms can sure rocket you back to junior high school in a flash, can’t they? And speaking of flashes. . . . here’s how I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the PTA.

Setting: Grade One meet-the-teachers assembly; classroom 18A. Silver-haired 46-year-old mother jammed inelegantly into pastel midget chair looks at 22 much younger (thinner, richer, more flexible, dentally superior, Beemer-driving) mothers who are nursing their babies, or waddling about pregnant and glowing, or making athletic runs to the bathroom with their toddlers. Silver-haired mother starts a slow freak out. Should have put on make up. Should have changed out of t-shirt. Should have walked instead of driving rusted-out station wagon. Should have tried to make Cool Girls like her. Now Kid will be alone on playground for rest of life. No play date invites for Kid. It’s his mother, you know. Very odd. Old, you know.

How old? Look at her, over in the corner HAVING A HOT FLASH. But that hot flash turned out to be a power surge in more ways than one. For through the heat and the sweat and the mud and the blood came the answer. My age is a diadem: I am clearly the Queen. Cookies? Are you mad? I AM THE QUEEN. What sort of Queen would be caught dead in Juicy Couture? Of course my knees creak: I AM THE QUEEN.

And like all queens, I have people who do things for me. Things like phone to remind me that Kid has come to school without his agenda or his sweater. Things like board school buses and go to wind-swept outdoor areas to observe insects and humus and the sad but true things that go on there. And especially to attend PTA meetings and then inform me as to what has gone on there, preferrably via email.


  1. Brilliant! I see you used your time wisely last night, Your Highness.

  2. I didn't grow up in this country, what I learned about growing up in the US I learned from the movies. John Hughes' movies. Heathers. And yes, Porky's. What I learned from interacting with mothers at the schools, and more from listening to other moms complaining about each other because obviously I am an outside (in more ways than one) and can serve as a safe complaint department without repercussion, is that, OMG, you can take people away from high schools, but you can take high schools away from people. It is amazing. Someone needs to write an ethnographic study on the PTAs.

  3. Btw, thanks for letting me know about Erin's post. That and all the comments made me feel much better about not being the only one freaking out whenever I go to kids' school...