See what I mean about letting things slide? I start putting my blog in late and now look at me! I am sitting at my computer, not only on a Tuesday, but on a Tuesday afternoon, typing my Friday blog. Outrageous. I really need to get a hold of myself before I completely go off the rails.
Have you ever created a moment with your children? We are not talking about a beautiful moment. No, this moment is something you realize even as it’s happening, is warping your children. This moment is the beginning of a story your children will tell their friends as an example of how truly weird, how truly and completely lame you are and always have been.
I created one of those moments with my almost nine year old daughter last Saturday. Even as it was happening, I could feel it. I knew it. Yet I was powerless to stop it.
The girls and I were almost home after a visit with my parents, jamming out to my amazingly cool loud music, when Bohemian Rhapsody came onto my ipod. I squeaked in delight (yes, I squeak when I am delighted) and turned the music up even louder. I glanced in the mirror and noticed that my daughter had a rather skeptical look on her face and was not bobbing her head along in the normal fashion.
“This is the coolest song ever!!!” I said loudly to make myself heard over the semi-deafening sound of Queen. The skeptical look remained. “Seriously, Bugs, you just have to give it a second to get good. It’ll get good, I promise.” To emphasize my point, I began heartily singing along, pausing to glance back and make sure she was truly getting it. She was looking at me in the rear view mirror, half-heartedly bobbing her head, trying her best to like it.
I believe that at this point any normal person would have just admitted defeat and realized that Bohemian Rhapsody is not for everyone, especially an almost nine year old girl whose musical sensibilities lean firmly toward the Rihannas and Justin Biebers of the world. Looking back, I realize that Freddie Mercury singing, “Mama, just killed a man…” may have permanently damaged my child’s psyche.
I was far too caught up in expanding her musical horizons to realize that at the time. It was like I was having an out of body experience… I could see myself being way too enthusiastic, I could see the manic gleam in my eye, hear the too-loud singing… But I was powerless to stop it. I was a freight train of ridiculousness barreling toward the end of the “my kid thinks I’m cool” tracks, and I had gathered so much momentum there was no stopping me.
I should have reined myself in. But instead, I did something unthinkable… Something so all-encompassingly pathetic…
I waited for my moment, waving one fist and singing as loudly as I could… And I did it. I actually yelled, “This is it!!! Check this out!!!” And proceeded to re-enact the scene from Wayne’s World in the front of my maroon Mom-mobile. With two small children in the backseat.
It was the saddest of all the heavy metal headbangs. It was the headbang of a woman desperately trying to make her cheesy old people music appealing to her child. The headbang of a woman whose references are from 20 years ago. 20 YEARS!!! I feel sick right now just typing that. And my wrinkles hurt. It was the headbang of a woman who still, somewhere inside, believed that headbanging was inherently cool.
When it was over, I looked at her in the rear view mirror again. She was frozen, her eyes wide, and was no longer even attempting to bob along to the music.
“Um… Did you like that song? It’s cool!! Right?!?” My daughter looked at me with sympathy. “Yeah Mom, it was great. It was… It was really good.” Is there anything more shameful than being the object of pity to a child?
If I had any sense at all, I would have just let it go. Instead, I tried to explain myself. “It’s from a movie from when I was a kid. It was an awesome movie! It’s so hilarious. I’ll show you the clip of it when we get home.” She tried to summon up some enthusiasm for it, but I could tell she was just humoring me.
The second we got home, we marched directly in to the computer and got on YouTube. The following is the exact video that I forced my poor innocent child to watch:
I absorbed it with gleeful nostalgia. I can’t explain how happy it makes me inside. This movie is buried so deeply in my psyche that I haven’t seen it for at least 10 years and can still recite the entire scene. I wish I could say that I didn’t indulge myself in that recitation as my daughter sat next to me and tried her best to pay attention.
I turned and said, “Well Bugs, what did you think?” She took a moment to answer, looking thoughtful. Had I turned her? Had I been able to make my child appreciate the full spectrum of amazing that is Bohemian Rhapsody and Wayne’s World? Had I managed to dodge the bullet of being the dreaded… “Uncool Mom”? I never dreamed that I wouldn’t be able to cruise by on my charm until she was was at least 13 before she realized what a hopeless dork I am.
“Mom, what was wrong with that guy? What party did he go to? Why was he sitting in the middle of the street? What’s a spew???”
She doesn’t even know what “spew” means??? “Spew” is a reference that is so old-fashioned my child has never heard of it???
Oh no. Oh, no, no, no… I am old. Ooooooollllllddddddd!!! I’m melting. Meeeeeelllllltttttttiiiiiinnnnnnggggg into a pile of wrinkles and the stench of old lady perfume!!!
I suppose my daughter probably had her suspicions about me before, but with this incident I confirmed it beyond any shadow of a doubt… In song and in dance… (Why did I dance? Why??? It’s my weakest category, I know that!!!)
I am not even remotely cool, “with it”, or “hip” (there’s another reference from an old movie for you!). I am a dorky old cheese ball that will in the future humiliate my daughter on more than one occasion.
I might as well accept it. I can hear myself aging even further as I type this…
But once I accept it, I can have some fun with it maybe… Get creative with my embarrassing antics. Look out Bugs, in just a few short years I can perform my Bohemian Rhapsody for your friends!!!