Back in June I started posting excerpts from my new book , which is a humorous memoir titled A Dead Tomato Plant and A Paycheck. This latest installment is from a chapter tentatively titled, Socially Unacceptable. As parents, we reach a point where we are barely tolerated by our children……
It’s an indisputable fact that as parents our intelligence ratio is in direct proportion to the ages of our children. The younger they are, the smarter we are.
I came to this profound realization the day my oldest daughter turned 16 and half my gray matter disintegrated. I could hardly believe that she was the same daughter who used to consider me the final authority on everything from why God made bugs to how the moon got up in the sky.
How fondly I remembered those good old days when she was four and I was smart.
She stood in awe of me because I could answer all her questions, not to mention that I could actually grow a plant from her watermelon seed.
Then she grew up and it reached a point where I would have given almost anything for just one brief glimmer of that old wide-eyed wonder. In fact, I would have given anything for a simple nodding acknowledgment that I might know something besides my name, address, and phone number.
It was a terrible shock to realize this was happening to me. I had years of education behind me. Not to mention all the accumulated wisdom from the intervening years, and I was reduced to pre-kindergarten status by one disdainful glance.
I, who used to be the most respected beauty consultant outside of Glamour magazine, suddenly knew nothing about hair care or make up.
I, who used to rival Chef Tell and the Galloping Gourmet in the kitchen, was now hard pressed to turn out a decent carrot stick.
I, who at one point could have started my own designer label with all the cute little dresses I created, had about as much taste as Miss Piggy.
Mind you, this was the same daughter who used to wear those dresses and tell everyone that her mommy made them for her. Now she wanted all the old photographs destroyed so nobody would ever see that she once wore a dress made out of pillow ticking.
It was a cute dress. Honest. With little yellow daisies on it that I hand appliqued. But did that matter? No. All she worried about was the fashion police and the fact that someone might decide she looked like a pillow.
This disdain for my mental acuity reached a point that I started wishing we could go back in time so I could bask in her adoration once again.
But then I had a second thought on the subject.
If we went back in time, this day of reckoning would still be lurking in my future, and I’d eventually have to face into it. Since I was already there, I might as well tough it out while I still had a small shred of intelligence left.
And, there were four other kids waiting in line.