Last October, the day before Halloween, I received what I can only describe as a very urgent phone call. I suppose I could describe it in other ways, too … an interruption, a nuisance, another predictable, “Help me, mama … Save me! Bail me out! … I left my costume home and need you to come deliver it to Cider Mill five minutes ago!”
Which I promptly did, of course. Amidst a sea of seafoam poopy diapers and half-drunk cups of coffee, I somehow managed to locate Wednesday Adams? Lydia? Cher? I don’t know. All I remember was shoving a lot of hair into an Edible Arrangements bag, placating Junior with a box of Junior Mints (unopened of course) and racing over in the rain just in time to drop death girl black wig in the main lobby along with a crumpled dollar bill all in the name of saving the day and putting a big f***ing bow on it.
I do a lot of this, rushing to the rescue with overpriced cosplay, usually with a screaming child in tow, armed with an apology and sheepish shrug for whatever office staff has the pleasure of greeting me on any given day. I’ve given up.
Call me coddling, call me enabling, call me anytime apparently and I’ll come running with that TI-84 graphing calculator or free reading book because, free time? I’ve got loads of it. People and people who are my children know I’m home. They know my number. They know where I live and that there’s nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.
I’m not above hiding, really, or changing my name or putting on that death girl black wig … whatever it takes not to have to go running over to Middlebrook, where I promptly found myself on all of day two again this school year. Did you know there’s a ‘right’ kind of mask and a ‘wrong’ kind of mask and this has nothing to do at all with the number of layers or (shame on you for even suggesting it) ‘safety.’
No. This very much had to do with, um, “the shade of gray doesn’t exactly match the crop top” (which, I’m pretty confident this is still a grey area) she wore to school “and so could you just drop that off, Mom? Oh, and while you’re at it, I forgot my homework.”
Or the cat ate it after she rehydrated at her favorite cantina, La Cucina di Toilet because putting the seat down on the crapper is on par with remembering your math notebook apparently … of little value or importance.
But these are small things, really in the grand scheme, and it’s not like the kids are drinking out of the toilet. Yet. My point is, it could always be worse and eventually, you know I won’t be Gal Friday to my gals and my little guy, and he’ll be graduating in like … nevermind, I can’t even think that far ahead and then I’ll be old and alone and wishing someone were calling to ask me to deliver something and, wow, I just got really depressed there for a second.
I’m going to be honest. I have nothing but sheer admiration for the ladies who love tough, the mamas who make their mark on the world one “sucks for you and all that soccer shit you left behind” lesson learned at a time. Damn, how I wish I had the constitution, or at least a more believable disguise (Cher hair? So not my bag) and was able to screen my phone calls.
I don’t know. Sometimes I think they don’t need me so much as they want to know I’m there, like Starbucks or autocorrect. I’m sure of this actually, as I open an Edible Arrangements bag and find “death girl black wig” along with that crumpled dollar bill all still very much intact up in that dreaded place of all places, the attic.
“Yeah, I didn’t end up wearing it,” my daughter tells me later. “It wasn’t really the right shade of Cher. But thanks, Mom. For bringing it anyway. Love you.”
If I could turn back time, I just want you to know I’d still for sure go racing over in the rain.
Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.