Liz climbed into my bed to fall asleep with me last night. But instead of sleep, this conversation about broken crockery and appropriate hobbies happened.
The heavy white bowls will be most satisfying…
Lizzie: Rehearsal was a disaster today. The person I’m doing my scene with got a concussion in roller derby yesterday so she was totally slap-happy.
Me (ignoring the main point of the comment): Roller derby? That’s awesome! Where does she do roller derby? I want to do roller derby!
Lizzie: Mom. No.
Me: What do you mean, no?
Lizzie: That’s not a hobby a mother can have. You can have middleaged hobbies. Like, crochet. Or fishing.
Me: Have you even met me? What has ever given you the idea I would enjoy fishing?
Me: I have no desire to find a new craft.
Lizzie: Mosaics isn’t a craft. You break things. Then put them back together again, differently.
Me: Breaking crockery would be fun. But, no. Speaking of crockery, though, have you ever noticed that the word is only used when being referred to as broken?
Lizzie: Yes, or shattered. You always read about crazy women shattering the crockery. So actually, that might not be so good for you. Let me think about it. You have to have a normal mother-hobby. You can’t, like, learn horseback riding.
Me: That’s so unfair. You know that one of my goals in life is to gallop on a horse.
Lizzie: You can when you’re a grandma. Then it’s spunky.
Me: So I have to wait until I’m a grandma to have fun?
Lizzie: How about antiquing?
Me: Not interested.
Lizzie: Furniture refurbishing…
Lizzie: Some mothers join church groups where they discuss their children and the dangers of cell phones. You could do something like that.
Me: I got the church choir to agree to do a Christmas carol sing-along. I’m the one planning it! Does that count?
Lizzie: No. A teenager should have organized that.
Me: I can’t wait to write about this conversation.
Lizzie: That’s another thing: your blog. Blogs are okay for mothers, but not the topics you write about. You should discuss, like, whether the Harry Potter books are satanic. [She frowns, probably thinking of what a boring life I must have, then perks up on my behalf.] But your clothes, your clothes are good. I approve of your clothes. I don’t like mothers with boring clothes. And your hair. You have good, normal, mother hair.
Me: I don’t want “normal mother hair.”
Lizzie: Actually, you’d look better as a brunette. Why don’t you organize a bake sale?
Me: You know I don’t bake.
Lizzie: Perfect! You can take classes.
Me: If I take baking classes, it will be a class on how to make the perfect sensual chocolate cake, and I’ll embarrass you by talking about it in front of your friends.
Lizzie: There’s no such thing as a sensual cake. And speaking of my friends, you should stop singing in front of them all the time… at least in front of the ones you don’t know well.
Me: I’m going to sing more. I’m organizing a Christmas carol sing-along, so I’m pretty much a professional.
Lizzie: You could protest GMOs.
Me: What are GMOs?
Lizzie: Genetically modified foods.
Me: Um… wrong acronym?
Lizzie: Just protest something! Write letters. Form a group. Join the PTA.
Me: I really just want to join a roller derby.
Lizzie: Now, if Dad was in a roller derby, I’d totally go to every one of those meets.
Me: So, Dad gets to ride a motorcycle and do roller derby, and I get to crochet?
Lizzie: You’re lucky I approve of snowboarding. Snowboarding is allowed.
Me: Wow. Thank God. You’ve given me a lot to think about. We’d better stop talking now or I’ll never be able to get to sleep.
This morning, I shared the conversation with Michael. His response: “Mom, that would be great! You should totally do roller derby!” Then he patted me gently and made a sympathetic face. “Except, um, you know you’d get hurt the very first day…”
He’s right. Which is why I will not be researching roller derbies in my area: because I do not want an injury. NOT because my daughter won’t “allow it.”
Anyway, remember when we were kids and we thought life was pretty much over once we were adults? I refuse to let that be true. I’m going to go smash some crockery now.