Tuesday, July 29, 2014

You Don't Have To Be So Fancy All the Time

If you have never experienced a cultural gap between yourself and a child, I venture to say you have never been a stepmother. Perhaps I am mistaken, but this is what I suspect.

For example, prior to venturing into A World of Children I Met Well After Their Births, I believed that I was casual and easygoing. I have recently learned that I am a crazy person, one who swoops in to pick up every peanut and every pre-chewed corn kernel that has landed on what used to be a kitchen floor but now more closely resembles an oversized Rice Krispies Treat.

I have learned that I am not as friendly as once, in my innocence, I believed myself to be, but instead am a person who strongly prefers that the front door of the house not be left hanging open all night ("Welcome, raccoon and possum!" my better self would have said).

I have discovered that I am a person who makes the mistake of reading the writing on tee-shirts, and that sometimes I do not like what the tee-shirts have to say. Perhaps I do not understand the tee-shirt jokes.

I do not like to find anyone's girlfriend's bra in the couch cushions.

I could go on.

But most of all, I have learned that I am "fancy" and that fancy is kind of weird.

"Fancy" is a person who says "don't bite your dinner plate, please" and "did you use your toothbrush today?" Fancy has never longed for a pickup truck, much less chosen a model and color.

Fancy reads books! And likes it! "Books," as one of the children informed me, "don't do anything. They just sit there."

This is true. They do. And when Fancy gets really, really tired, she just sits there, too.

©2014 Michelle van Schouwen, Longmeadow, MA
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