Whose Life is it Anyway?

Whose life is it anyway? Well, to answer my own question, it sure as heck isn’t mine. Another Friday has come and almost gone. I have been suffering from an identity crisis from start to finish. What do I do first? Am I really responsible for that? Where are my kids? Why is my mother in law sitting on my couch? Did my cat do something to befoul the boiler room again? Because, man, it really smells down there.

Early this morning, it was a struggle to rally. I didn’t squeeze in my rigorous (not) DVD workout until about 9:30 last night. The resulting adrenaline rush and lack of will to live led to an uncharacteristic endeavor. I was burning the midnight oil while updating my Facebook profile. There’s the tipoff right there that I was not quite feeling like myself. I don’t believe in Facebook. Never have. Yet, there I was, rounding out my Favorites list for all to see. Is anyone even out there? Why do I bother? Is Mark Zuckerberg really a billionaire? There is no justice.

I wake up and begin my most elaborate charade. I pretend to be the Mom. I pack lunches for me and for Sprite (6). Red Bull (12) and MelloYello (10) are on their own for lunch today since it is pizza Friday in the cafeteria. It is a house rule that I will take a reprieve from lunchbox prep on Pizza Friday. Can I have an Amen for Pizza Friday? I then fill the front loading, large capacity Electrolux a la Kelly Ripa (my virtual twin, around the ears anyway) and pop by the dishwasher to find my travel mug. Along the way I ignore that the toilet paper roller in the downstairs bathroom is looking right at me, naked as the day she was born. All shiny and bare. Shocking. In a dither, I leave the unfolded laundry from yesterday on the kitchen island. It will wait.

So, put I Mom on the shelf and leave for school to cover for my lovely and talented boss lady teacher, Ms. Promise. Ms. Promise was sadly (I’m being serious now) injured while sitting still in her car last weekend. She was rear ended by a young driver who was TEXTING while cruising along a suburban back road doing 45mph. So that truly sucks. For real. All affected parties were fortunate to walk away from the twisted burning wreck (also serious), but Ms. Promise was chagrined to discover, later that day, that something was seriously wrong with her neck. So she has been out of commission, relearning to swallow and speak and support her own noggin for the past week. I feel nothing but love and concern for her. At school I am happy to pretend to be half as competent as she is. And so off I go to pretend to be Ms. Promise.

I pretend to be Ms. Promise for half of the day and then who should show up but, you guessed it, Ms. Promise herself! I actually knew she was coming to make a special cameo appearance and to get her sea legs before jumping in full throttle next week. Or at least as full throttle as one can be without turning, bending, lifting, or moving in any direction, with any speed or force. So I am no longer Ms. Promise, but am now Mrs. Snark, her trusty sidekick, once again. We muddle through the rest of the day consumed by warnings to the children to please remember her delicate condition and make several admonitions against coming within 4 feet of her. People line up at the door to pay their respects and bow at her feet. It is really very nice. The kids treat her as they always have. One comes within a breath of taking her down in a heap as she (the student) runs, full speed through the classroom. Ah, kids.

School’s over. Who am I now? See if you can guess. I arrive home an hour later than usual after collecting Red Bull and Sprite at their school playground. They have toughed it out, waiting around with the after hours crowd, while I’ve put in extra time at work to get Ms. Promise up to speed on the triumphs and tragedies of the week while gingerly spotting her from behind should she suddenly sneeze or begin to look like a bobble head in any way. Red Bull, Sprite and I bounce by the bakery to secure a thank you (payoff) selection of heavily frosted treats for their patience and obedience. Big thumbs up to Red Bull who kept his sister alive all by himself for an hour. So now, I’m still not me. I’m just channeling a real housewife of New York, barely qualified to call myself a mother.

We proceed homeward and enter the kitchen/familyroom/laundry sorting headquarters of our palatial estate (funny how all those “rooms” can fit into 300 square feet of space) and see that all of the laundry is miraculously folded and sitting in piles on the kitchen counter. Hmmm. Are we being robbed by very neat bandits who were appalled by my shoddy housekeeping? No, we are not. Ten feet away sits my mother-in-law, Powerade, comfortably nestled in the couch. Holy Crap. It’s all coming back to me now. Mom’s coming to town today. Egads.

Now, I am Harrison Ford in Regarding Henry after he has been shot in the head by John Leguizamo and suffers memory loss so severe he needs to relearn how to speak, read and recognize his family. So this is what it’s come to. Honestly, for me, it’s just another Friday. Tomorrow I get to be mom again. And hopefully, Mr. Snark gets to be the Plumber and snake that nasty hairball out of the sink.

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