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.
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.