By Daphne Biener
It’s safety day in the first grade. 6 year-old Kira came home packed with useful tidbits designed to make life with me, her live-by-the-seat-of-her-pants mother with the devil-may-care attitude, safer. She believes deeply that I, while not exactly unfit, am at the very least unqualified for this job. If the cement truck grinding of her teeth each night is any indication, she feels lucky just to make it through each day in my care alive. Recently we attended a party, an amazing, ocean-side party where one of the perks offered (to adults only – what a welcome change!) was surfing lessons. Complete with surfer dude instructors, beginner boards and the wonderful California surf – I couldn’t wait. Here’s Kira’s take on the events that were about to unfold:
Kira: So, Mom? Kids can’t go surfing, right?
Me: Right, just for grownups this time sweetie! (I tried to look distressed at her exclusion)
Kira: So both you AND dad are going to surf, right?
Me: Yup! Yes we are!
Kira: You know, MOM, you can’t just leave me and Acadia on the beach by ourselves (She states with a look on her face that says she knows what I’m up to and it’s not going to fly this time. Maybe, just maybe, she’s got social services on speed dial and I better watch it).
Now, let me say, in case there is any doubt, I have NEVER left my children unattended. I strap their bodies into car seats and their little bike-riding noggins into helmets. I shmear sunscreen on clear days and bug spray at dusk. I make them eat their vegetables. I do everything I can to protect my children but Kira remains unconvinced.
This particular afternoon Kira proceeded to run through the ways in which we could turn home-sweet-death trap into a more hospitable homestead. She explained, painstakingly slowly so I could comprehend the importance, that pot handles on the stove should point in to prevent accidental burns.
Me: You know, honey, I already do that when I cook.
Kira (incredulously): You do?
Me (sighing): Yes, I do.
You can read more of Daphne’s work here on the mama bird diaries or visit her site, Sestina Queen.