Once again, Stasha’s Monday list is being made on Tuesday night, but that’s because I couldn’t figure out how to write this list until I read someone else’s post. And then I decided to plagiarize. Although, is it plagiarism if I tell you my source? I borrowed this idea whole cloth from the Sisterhood of Sensible Moms, which is a blog you really should put in regular rotation. They asked their kids to make this list for them, and so I did the same thing – I even got one kid to make his list while we were driving, just like they did. Lest they be insulted, I will remind them that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The original prompt for this list came from Mommy Padawan, with whom I feel a special affinity because Star Wars pretty much rules my entire household: her prompt was for us to list either 10 things we’re good at, or what we’d do for 48 hours with unlimited money and no responsibilities. Well, writing that list would simply make me cry, having not enough of the former and WAY too much of the latter; so I went with “what I’m good at.” And then punted and asked my kids to make the list for me.
Caleb gave me his five items when I was driving him home from soccer the other night. He was in the back seat trying to read Order of the Phoenix by the light of the streetlights; I told him not to try to read because he’d strain his eyes in the dark; he said YES I CAN TOO READ IT and held the book pretty much on the tip of his nose. And then, as if by HP magic, I was suddenly my mother, saying the exact same thing to me, when I was about the same age. As if on cue, Caleb said, look the light looks like water, mommy, and I knew exactly what he meant: speckled windows do cast a watery light.
I say, Caleb, I need a list of things I’m good at. I need five things.
You take care of us.
I wait, drive a little bit. Resounding silence from the back seat, pages rustling.
Um…Caleb? Five things?
Clearly five is a ridiculously exaggerated number. There is another pause.
Well. You’re a good cook. Of homemade stuff that you get from recipes on the internet. And you’re good at driving in Abu Dhabi.
A signficant achievement my friends; that one is huge because driving in Abu Dhabi pretty much terrifies me.
More silence. I say “and…?”
Uh…homework. Helping with homework. And good at costumes. But not as good as daddy.
Clearly I should’ve stopped after “driving.”
So then, at home, I ask Liam, my child who has never met a test he doesn’t love; who wants to do everything perfectly, no matter what.
I say “Liam, I need a list of five things that I’m good at.
Liam panics, leaps off the couch: Why? What for? When do you need it?
It’s just a list, I say. Not a big deal.
He sits back down. Oh. Well. Pottery, you’re good at pottery. And that thing with the oar?
Yeah. You’re good at that. And cooking. Pottery, paddleboarding, cooking…And being a mum.
Did you say mom or mum?
Mum, he says, in flawless fauxbrit.
Oh. And you’re good at being on time.
Great. I’m punctual. I suppose that’s a skill. Not up there with, say, hang-gliding, playing Chopin, or knowing Mandarin, but hey. I’ll take my compliments where I can find them.