Mother's Day gift to mom of four boys: a little girl with Willy Wonka ‘lift’
Mother's Day gift: A mom of four boys gets a lesson from a 7-year-old girl about returning to her girlie roots. Giggles, glitter, and a bop on the head drive the mom around the bend and straight into an 'ah ha' moment: There's a lotta love in indulging your girlie roots.
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“Why do you think everything is fun,” Quin demanded in frustration of Laurel after she’d tried to mimic him using a hula hoop as a jump rope, resulting in hitting me on the head so hard I was loopy.Skip to next paragraph
Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.
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Unfazed, Laurel squeaked out, “Cause ima gerrraal!”
“No! Not all girls think everything is fun. Like my mom,” Quin sputtered. “Would you think it’s fun if Godzilla came out of the river over there?”
Without the slightest hesitation she squealed, “Yes!” She then whirled around in an epic non-sequitur and shouted, “Kitty!” at one of our cats.
“Mom, she’s just like that dog in the movie 'Up'! The one that would be in the middle of a sentence and just stop and shout ‘Squirrel!’” Quin despaired. She was doing it more to make him groan – because that made her laugh – than because she’s actually that ditzy. Well, she’s pretty ditzy, but she puts it into hyper-active-hyper-drive for Quin.
I actually made a little video of them, comparing them to the cartoon "Dexter’s Lab" with Quin as Dexter and Laurel as DeeDee and her mom and I have had hours of laughs over the truth of that revelation. Unfortunately, Laurel saw the video and has embraced the Deedee role with more fervor and took to calling Quin “Dexter.”
After the second week of mornings with Laurel my husband finally met her and gave me that husband look that lets you know a big “Gotcha!” is about to manifest.
“She does everything you do that drives me insane,” he said. “You make everything funny, or you did until you learned to tone it down.”
I was incensed that he’d dare accuse me of being girlie, and that’s when reality tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear that he was right and there was nothing “wrong” with Laurel.
I was the problem. I’d stopped many of my own happy-skippy, fuzzy-pink-optimist behaviors in the past few years and not realized it.
Moms are like minerals, the pressure can make us into diamonds, which is great, but diamonds need a lot of work to shine properly. I was still in the rough and didn’t even know it.
Having four boys, one in college and another headed to university in the fall, and working from home in a bad economy has both seasoned and toughened me up. I am a diamond in the rough with a glaring flaw – I’ve forgotten how to be a happy kid of either gender.
It’s taken the Laurel experience, being in another mom’s shows to cut me down to size as a mom.
In a house full of men and boys, instead of showing them how wonderful it can be to be yourself – be sparkly and free – I bowed to the household trend and blended in to the crowd.
Laurel brought back my fun side and helped me to see that if we want our kids to be themselves then we need to not bow to peer pressure, even in our own homes.
For Mother’s Day I am going to ask them to skip the usual breakfast in bed and crank the stereo to my favorite music, make waffles, and then paint my nails hot pink with little sparkly thingies on them. I may even wear heels with the apron just to freak them all out as much as possible. After all, I’m making up for lost time.