Sunday, May 8, 2011

Try Dyed For Mother's Day

It began with a Mother's Day card. 

My seven year old son had created a booklet at school.  Each page had a fill in the blank.  My mom likes to...My mom doesn't like to...with the answers having been supplied by each individual first grader.  The impressions a child has of their parents is often widely at odds with reality or at least the impression I'm trying to give in this world. 

For instance, according to John, my favorite food is crabs.  This despite the fact that I obsess over chocolate and diet coke daily and haven't eaten any side walkers in about a year.  My only explantion was a conversation I had two weeks ago with my two oldest daughters about how much fun it was to make gumbo growing up. They were recalling their last trip to the beach where they caught a mess of blue crabs and did the same with my folks. 

Apparently my favorite vacation spot is Texas but the place I loathe is Pennsylvania.*  Again, I could piece together the reasoning of my son; he knows I love to visit my family and the beach on the gulf coast.  He also knows family lore. Years back before he was even born, we had a bad experience once in Amish country at one of those theme hotels designed to be fun for kids, a hotel composed entirely of train cars.   We tried to be good sports but the place was so dusty and our bed so awful, my husband made an emergency trip to Walmart to purchase new sheets and comforters so we could sleep. He stayed up all night in the recliner watching March madness and we didn't stay the second of the mandatory two night reservation. To this date, while we know there are plenty of fun things to do in our neighboring state, we remain gun shy about an overnight stay; with the money quote being, "This would be pretty if it weren't Pennsylvania."  The Hotel which shall not be named, still evokes shivers at the memory and a case of the imaginary itchies. 

But the page that drew the most response was this:  My mom's hair color is.....What is this, a commercial for L'Oreal?  My son had written grey.   He wrote grey.  My hair is black.  Well alright, it's black with grey highlights and an skunk stripe in the front.  I looked in the mirror.  The standard pony tail masked how grey I'd become, bundling all the brown and black.The skunk stripe had encroached out of it's acceptable territory and I now had a large swath that his seven year old eyes had spotted correctly.  I couldn't be grey.  The little bit of vanity left in this mother of ten body railed against the idea of having my son think I had grey hair.  Off to the hairdresser I went.

I have discovered the limits of my vanity.  Two hours.  It takes three hours to get one's hair colored. After 120 minutes, I was done and tired of reading magazines that told me how to lose weight, budget, organize, think like a man, raise perfect sons, grill, improve my insurance I.Q. and where to eat in Bangladesh.  I'd said a rosary.  I'd written a list of things to do for the next week. I'd fretted about not being home and wondered if they'd started dinner.  I'd wished I'd gone shopping for sneakers instead or gone for a walk.  I'd considered getting into an email fight with the editor of a travel magazine for a snide comments about Houston not having much beyond steak until recently.  Clearly they didn't know Houston worth a darn.  Then  I realized, she'd missed out on some good mexican tamales and good seafood and fantsized briefly about Pappadeaux's soft shell crabs.. then I thought oh well, more for me.  Whoa! Maybe my son knew more about me than I'd thought.  

Finally sprung from the beautician's chair, I drove home and showed off my newly not grey hair.  He didn't really notice.  I looked at my mother's day car again.  The page after the hair said, "My eyes," only they're not. 

Next week, I'm going to the eye doctor. My oldest son told me to get contacts if I need correction, so maybe when I go to the visit, I'll fix it so the other son's observations are more accurate. 

*I like Pennsylvania.  We've taken trips and have friends in Pennsylvania. I'm just never going to a theme hotel that has a mandatory two night stay again unless the family needs new bedding and even then, I think I'll just buy the sheets and skip the possible nightmare vacation spot.


MightyMom said...

my first grader earlier this year made a point of announcing each of our hair color....Daddy's was "WHITE!" quite emphatic.

Natalie said...

That is so cute and I hope you like your new hair-do. =)

Sharon said...

Aren't kids a hoot? They reflect those parts of us we'd rather keep quiet. Post a pic of your new do.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!