I was talking to my 7 year-old daughter over dinner about the play-date she just had at a friend’s house, and I asked her if she remembered to use her manners. She replied, “Mom, I was just having so much fun, I think I forgot.” In my best mommy voice I reminded her that, “Having fun doesn’t mean you forget to be polite.” What followed, I kid you not, was the eye roll of the century and then she says, “Mom…you don’t even know about fun.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa…DJ stop the music. This girl needed a quick life lesson. Did she not know that fun was my first, middle, and last name before I became her “uncool mom?”
I quickly came up with a top ten list in my head that I was ready to rattle off to show her that I knew all about fun:
10. I was the youngest of five children. That meant I followed my older brothers around all day starting small fires, Wrestlemania-style diving onto couch pillows, putting holes in walls, breaking vases and getting into all sorts of mischief. The best part was that it was all going to get blamed on them because I was just the baby, after all.
9. I attended Catholic School from ages 4 to 17. There is nothing like a strict Catholic education and mandatory dress code to make you want to be a rebel without a cause. I talked my way out of many a detention in my day, girl.
8. I went to UConn…and when I wasn’t in the library studying (of course), I was at baseball parties and soccer parties and whooping it up at Huskies (using a really solid fake I.D.). Ask your dad someday about my winning record at flip cups.
7. Before we were old and boring, my closest girlfriends and I used to dance the night away and leave a trail of broken hearts. Ok, maybe we cried and ate ice cream together after breakups…but we did in fact dance the night away and make some questionable (but very fun) decisions.
6. I have been to Vegas…
5. Just like you and your friends like to whisper and giggle, I still like to do that with my ladies. Sure, we may not be able to laugh too hard now because our bladders don’t hold up as well after having children, but we still have our share of giggle fests and inside jokes. And don’t think you’re the only one who can come up with a secret handshake!
4. Before camps, swimming lessons and slumber parties, my summers used to be filled with rock concerts, tan lines and bonfires.
3. I’ve gone outside in the cold weather with my hair wet while not wearing a coat. Talk about living on the edge…I could have caught pneumonia!
2. I’ve bungee jumped, snorkeled in a crater in Hawaii, cliff-jumped into lakes, and ridden on the back of motorcycles. (All of which you will never be able to do of course because: SAFETY FIRST).
1. Lastly, there are few things more fun in life than watching you and your brother run to the tree on Christmas morning, celebrate a goal in soccer, try to catch snowflakes in your mouth, jump over ocean waves and laugh with each other. All those things that are fun for you are fun for me too. Nothing is more fun than seeing your smile.
So yes, my dear, I know all about fun. The gray hairs I have may be from you, but the wrinkles around my eyes…those are laugh lines from years of living it up.
But sadly, I realized my top ten list would surely just lead to more eye rolls from my 7 year-old teenager, so my response was simply, “You’re right, I don’t know anything about fun…but I do know about manners. Use them.”