Friday, October 22, 2010

Break a Leg, Scarlett. Again, again, again. . . and so on.

No, the Matron is not going to, once again, repost the standard "Break a Leg, Scarlett." Here's the most recent, for a lovely, warm yet deeply sad show at Youth Performance Company. Can she say enough good things about this theater company? To every reader with a teen wondering where to take classes or audition, she can say: YPC. Scarlett might soon ask to move her mattress there.

Last night, saw the first preview of her next show, The House of Spirits, at Mixed Blood. Here's a little newspaper tidbit, featuring the truly amazing director.

Friends -- the Matron is now up to over 400 daily readers. If you live in the Twin Cities, this is one show that's worth seeing. For those of you in Japan and Australia? Well, maybe not.

Scarlett hasn't been to school in three weeks, but will return on Monday. If she gets into another show--one for which she's in the throes of callbacks -- the family will turn the home into a school and just throw hats into that ring.

Maybe Scarlett can just attend the Matron's community college?

Despite the driving, the time commitment, the drama -- the Matron is eternally grateful that her child has been living in a world of creativity, art and talent since she's been eight. She's sure that exposure has changed her daughter on a cellular level.

Note to Scarlett: Just leave the world a little bit better for your presence here. It doesn't matter if that's through theater or not (but maybe your mother's left wing politics MIGHT also influence?). But she hopes you've found some beauty and grace to pass onto others.

The same message goes to the other children -- be a good citizen, first. Stand for justice and peace; if you have extra money, give some away.

He Who Cannot be Named (HWCBN): "How can you be a billionaire and still be like Buddha? Isn't that your goal, MOM, for us be like Buddha? Did he nearly die of starvation, wander the countryside in rags and then get poisoned? Aren't you supposed to make the world a better place by doing what you love? And I love money! And food!"

That's okay, darling -- as long as you give some of both away. With heart.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What She Loves About her Children

1. They are hers.

2. He Who Cannot be Named? In-house tech support. Computer problem? Solved. Thanks HWCBN. Someone who can now reach to the higher shelves. Another man to rig open a stuck garage door. Transferring at-home argumentative skills to high school debate (and winning everywhere). The person who notices when someone is hurt or anxious and takes the time to help.

3. Scarlett? Um. . . is it bad to say that the Matron can google her daughter and get more links than for her own fine self -- and the child is 12? A young woman who can spend 12 hours a day working as a professional and still get straight A's. Someone who pauses everything to help the younger kid -- in any scenario--and who coos over babies. The girl who claims she will live on the island of Lesbos with her best friend, Eleanor, when they turn 18. Rejecting all things fast food (in theory) but falling numb at the thought of Subway ham and cheese sandwiches.

4. The little guy, Merrick? Can she just first say that when one has a 14 and 12 year old, the 7 year old is a precious commodity and unrivaled in the adorable factor, throughout the world. No child is more adorable. Perhaps that's enough? But let us consider his missing front tooth. How about the proclamation that he is "President of Dogs" and the proclivity to live out this destiny on the living room floor with as many dogs as possible? Then there's the day the Matron told him he could stay up (at a party) until he dropped --and Merrick asked "will it huwt when I dwop?" She could die now of love for this child (did she mention that youngest child bias yet?).

Today, HWCBN noted that he hadn't seen Scarlett in six days (note: read recent theater posts). There was also no school due to some teacher conferences that the Matron does not have the benefit of attending. So after picking up Scarlett for her two hour lunch break from the current theater (where she needed to arrive at like, dawn, and return to until, well, like midnight -- she just go home), the Matron stopped by the beloved Subway--to the tune of $25 for four people. What's up with that?!!

Yet upon returning home, all three children took their rare and unrivaled treat into the family room and spent an hour laughing and talking -- the first time they had been together in, well, six days. Their joy with one another -- pure and unfiltered -- is another thing the Matron loves about her children.

Well worth twenty-five dollars. Actually, don't let her even touch that checkbook.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Humble Pie, Baked by the Matron

Sunday morning was particularly arduous.

Merrick, who suffers from 'unbearable sensitive prickly skin disease,' could not tolerate his new pants. This is a child who has a uniform without a school requirement: same two pair of blue jeans (now with holes that distinguish one from the other) white Hanes or Fruit of the Loom T-shirt (she mentions brand so one can fully appreciate how nondescript said t-shirts are) and a black sweatshirt (this item is singular but also has helpful identifying holes).

So the intrepid mother went to the thrift store and The Mother Ship (Target) and purchased a wide variety of items without holes -- new pants, new sweatshirt, more white t-shirts. Leading toward a complete psychological collapse of the youngest child.

Sunday morning.


Matron: "Merrick, these are new clothes. Here are clothes without holes. They're just your size. Look! New jeans! New white t-shirts! New sweatshirt--black. The same color as required."

Merrick: "These clothes awe EVIL. Whewe awe my weal clothes?" The Matron may have downplayed the number of holes in said clothes. It's significant enough to expect a phone call from the school social worker.

Matron: "Honey, you really need to try on these new things. They're almost exactly like the other clothes."

Screaming ensued.

During this mayhem, Scarlett woke up.

Matron: "Scarlett, you really need to shower and do homework before your tech rehearsal starts today."

Scarlett: "Mom! That is SO UNFAIR. I showered five days ago. I'm not even going to school anymore so I can put off homework. I have TEN HOURS of rehearsals today and I'm SO TIRED."

All true. Scarlett has been to school just six days this entire year. Thus, the earlier home-schooling query. She's currently logging 14 hour days.

Matron: "I know, but do you have to scream?"

Then HWCBN decided to complain, loudly, about his life.

Everyone was in distress. The new (now sixty pound) puppy was trying to eat the tea pot while simultaneously chewing Merrick as dessert. Satan's Familiar pooped in the basement. John couldn't find his cell phone or wallet, something the Matron tried to forgive since she lost the car.

All this before noon on a Sunday morning. The Matron had enough. She gathered her things and announced her departure, in an uncharacteristic move of intolerance and complete surrender.

Matron: "I have to go. I have some errands to run."

HWCBN: "Right. You're just bailing because everyone is upset."

Matron: "Indeed." That's actually a good word, as there's just the right amount of superiority and ambiguity.

The whole household watched in wonder as the mother, heart of the household, stormed out the door. Lest there be any misunderstanding: she stormed. Drama. The Matron was making a Significant Point about Unacceptable Behavior.

She marched out to the garage, hit the door opener and . . . . the door started to open and then sighed, slopped down and died. With the car and her escape inside.

There were a few frantic moments of button pushing and door heaving. The Matron prayed to God-Buddha-Oprah-Universe-Allah for assistance. Alas, the gods appeared to be asleep.

She considered her symbolic departure (from the less than powerful position of the sidewalk by the driveway) and the result of skulking back in. So much for emphasis. She walked back into the house, where the squabbles and upheavals in the kitchen remained in full force.


HWCBN: "So much for your dramatic departure."

Matron: "I need help. The garage door is broken."

HWCBN and John came out with gloves, screwdrivers and hope. Merrick found a pair of black gloves -- because that's his color -- and took the role of lifting up the door (with some deceit involved in how much of his personal power might lift the thing). It took some time, but they were able to heave open the door and inspect the broken cables (which later cost $119 to fix). The Matron held her bag, computer and dignity while she watched, at the mercy of men and the very people who were driving her crazy.

John: "There. It's all fixed--you can go."

Matron: "Are you going to make pancakes?"

Merrick, HWCBN, Scarlett: "Pancakes!!! Yes!"

Matron: "Actually, I think I can stay for awhile."

They all went inside and ate breakfast, better.