I had an experience the other day that we all have at one point or another. A quasi-time travel/shape shifting mindmeld where you are simultaneously the main character and the audience.
I was doing some planting in the yard, wearing ill-fitting pants and outdated sneakers that I save just for such occasions. Pants too short, socks too black, shoes too sneaker-y. Just so you know, I don’t regularly use the word “sneakers.” But these shoes look like something your mom would call “sneakers” so I call them “sneakers.”
My son, Liam got off the bus with a friend and they proceeded to torture me by running through my plants, crashing expensive toys, begging for Ding Dongs, stealing Ding Dongs, dropping Ding Dong trash on the floor, standing on my furniture and using me as “base.”
(blood pressure rising…….eyes narrowing……….grrrrrrrrr………..) That…..is…… IT!
I stood up in my short pants and my black socks and I pointed my shovel at them.
And I began to scream.
I called them wild animals and hooligans.
I berated their shenanigans.
Their shenanigans would not fly in my house (wild gesticulating of shovel).
Get in the car. NOW. This bus is leaving for soccer and if you want a ride you’d better be there.
Driving to soccer, I yell at them some more about acting like complete ruffians and turning my house into a gymnasium. And when I’m done, they sit there in stunned silence and I sing along to the radio. Here comes the sun……doodee DOO doo………here comes the sun……..and I say……….it’s alright……..doo DOO dee doo DOO dee doo DOO dee doo doodee doodee doo. And suddenly it’s not 2012 anymore it’s 1979 and my name isn’t Kristin it’s Linda. It’s the same pants and the same sneakers and the same shovel pointed at wild animals. And it’s the same words screamed at the wild animals and the same doodee doo’s. The threats were the same including I WILL (insert threat) SO FAST IT’LL MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN! Followed by the requisite DO YOU HEAR ME?! (shovel still pointed at wild animals).
I became aware of the experience as it happened, as the words came out of my mouth and I pointed the shovel. I simultaneously spoke, pointed shovel and observed. I actually said to myself – as myself was speaking – omigod. are you watching this? Like an out of body experience. But the doodee doo’s sealed it.
There are lots of things you can inherit in your DNA but can you really inherit an intolerance for bad behavior while wearing awkward gardening clothes? Can you inherit a scene in which you make up words to songs on the radio while poorly behaved children ride sheepishly in the back seat? Or is this a cosmic experience? Like different moments in time existentially colliding?
After dropping them off at soccer, I popped into the Home Depot for more plants. I looked down at my short pants, black socks and “sneakers” and worried about the message I was sending – that message being that I don’t have a mirror in my home. Then I rationalized that I was at the HoDe and clearly in the middle of a project so the outfit matched the situation. I took some dirt from my shoe and smudged it on my face just in case.
But then I crossed the line by running next door to the Marshall’s. And the circle is complete…shopping at Marshall’s in my gardening clothes…..my short pants and my black socks and my sneakers. I have become my mother.
For more from Kristin, read her blog, Clam Chowder for Lunch.