Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stage Mother

My complicated relationship with the role of 'stage mother' continues to evolve. Mostly, I try to view having an enthusiastic child actor much the way I view having an enthusiastic Little Leaguer or enthusiastic reader--just part of normal life.

But here's the problem with 'normal life' in our family. So Stryker shows a propensity for reading? I start a 'boys book club' and make sure it's featured (prominently) in the local newspaper. Stryker signs up for Little League and within a few weeks, not only am I on the board but am elemental in securing a hundred thousand dollar grant for the organization.

Throwing a huge party when you finish your doctorate sounds right, but what does it say about someone's sense of proportion when she makes the event an annual occurrence-- that grows in scope and complexity each year. I remember having a conversation with Elizabeth Dickinson about Xcel's coal fired power plant, located blocks from our house. "We should really make that change that thing to gas." Clean Energy Now was born and Xcel successfully bullied, with yours truly as one of the lead gadflies. Oh-- and when Stryker picked up a yo-yo, who secured private lessons and helped pave his path to a national tournament--which he won! Go Stryker!

I don't write this to toot my own horn (toot toot) but to make the larger point about going full throttle.

So, if we view acting like reading, playing baseball or tossing a yo-yo -- you know, take the casual, low-key, it's no big deal stance -- we see that this stance is utterly foreign to me. Just doesn't exist.

As for Scarlett, this is the question she asks me on a daily basis: "Mommy, is my agent a boy or a girl and have you set up that meeting?"

Uh oh.

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