I recently had a conversation with the 5-year old daughter of a friend of mine about what “cooties” are. (I never imagined that one day I would actually reminisce about cooties!) I made a comment to her about boys which elicited an immediate Mr. Yuck face. (Wow. Now I’m reminiscing about Mr. Yuck!)
She scrunched up her little nose and looked at me quizzically and asked, “What are ‘cooties’ ?”
Generally, this question wouldn’t be a big deal but seeing as this child wasn’t mine, I found myself speechless for a millisecond (I’m rarely speechless for longer than a millisecond). Her mom, saving me from my own mouth, replied, “Would you want to kiss a boy?”
“No! Ewww!”, was the immediate reply.
“Well, that’s why. Because of cooties!”
The moral of the story is that very soon, with my own daughters, I will be faced with questions – possibly ones that I’ve brought upon myself – that I must find witty and carefully worded answers to. I have to admit that part of me looks forward to the childish inquiries. I’ll be the all-knowing Mommy – like the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz – who is the walking encyclopedia of fun facts. I could tell them to go ask their Daddy, but I’m not one to give up such a superhero power. Nor am I one to stall the learning process of my adolescents by responding with the cop-out “I’ll tell you when you’re older.” However, I will have to pass down the “Go look it up” response just to see if I can elicit the eyeroll that I used to give when instructed to reference a *gasp* DICTIONARY!
I have every intention of looking them in the eye and explaining, with great detail, the answer to every question they ask. I know this may present a hurdle to jump at times, but I’m up for the challenge. Though, it’s not above me to make up my own answers, either. Of course, it would be for my own humor.
This Mother’s Day marked my first as the proud Mama of two. I couldn’t help but smile at these beautiful faces that I had created. It’s such a feeling of wholeness. Completion. Fear. Especially about those questions. But my Moms did it – both of them. Sometimes with fact and sometimes with a dash or two of fiction, but always with love and never flinching.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
I’ve got my Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Farmer’s Almanac and Book of 101 Jokes. Bring ’em on.