Just call me Peter Pan
There are certain cards games my family won’t play with me because “Mom always wins.” They poke fun of my skills at skiing, trivia games, and word puzzles. They joke that I’m good at everything because I tend to win a lot. (I think it’s the universe just tossing me a bone every now and then, but they are convinced that I’m the most talented woman to walk the Earth.)
“What aren’t you good at, mom?” I hear.
My answer is always the same. I’m not good at plenty of things. For example, I’m terrible at making pancakes and baking cakes. I am also lacking in fashion sense and not allowed to help anyone with hair or makeup because apparently one little eye jab and a quarter-sized blister from a curling iron makes me unqualified. I also can’t handle talking to insurance companies, scheduling doctor appointments, waiting in long lines for food, and I certainly am not good at paying bills.
“I finally figured out something you’re not good at,” my husband said, his eyes lit up with a glint of genius. “You’re not good at being an adult.”
Jaw dropped, eyes wide, lightbulbs flashing. He was absolutely right. I am not good at all about being a grown-up.
I lose checks. I forget to refill prescriptions. I use twisty ties and craft clay to fix major appliances. I invent new ways of making play dough and literally tell the world because I’m so excited about it. I wear bright blue pants. I affix googly eyes to our appliances and have a mustache taped to the dashboard of my car and dance in public way too often. I don’t like politics or economics or anything that doesn’t have to do with having fun.
Tonight we had a minor household episode that found me greeting the repairman in my front yard while standing in the melting now, barefoot. A headlamp attached to my face and the remnants of craft clay on my hands, he assured me that it was nothing to worry about, and that things would be figured out soon. My husband was calm and collected while he dealt with the issue and I bounced frantically from room to room, accomplishing nothing, stopping only to eat a donut for dinner.
Flying around, I came to the realization that if I step back and look, he’s really correct. I’m not a good grown up at all. I’m a much better kid, and that’s just who I am. I am Peter Pan, except for Wendy, Neverland, the fairies and the Lost Boys. I’m just thankful for my husband, our home, our children, and the repairman who makes things right.
And because I’ll never grow up despite how hard I try, I’m also thankful for the donut shop.
Originally written/published 3/8/15