Monday, July 6, 2009

I am Not a Car Painter Mom

There are things you just don't learn until you have kids.

One of them is whether or not you are a car painter. And trust me, you either are, or you are not. There is no in between.

It says a lot about you, this car painting thing. If you are a car painter, your mini van or SUV is regularly adorned with multiple colored lines that tell the world that your kid is in a baseball or soccer playoff; your kid just turned 6, 7, or 13 or simply that mommy loves her new star athlete or honor roll student. Better still, these mommies have excellent handwriting and punctuate their "i"s with little hearts. 

If you are not a car painter mom, nobody in the neighborhood knows what sport your kid plays, or even if your kid plays a sport; what age he or she is; or if you have excellent hand writing skills. You are the unknowns (or from my fave book Queen Bees and Wannabes, you are the "invisibles."). Now, I'm all about flying under the radar. But kids, well, I always assumed they liked the attention.

So, yesterday, after another brightly colored SUV flew past me in traffic, I looked over at my tweenager and calmly asked the Big Question (no, not THAT question, but almost as big): Are you sorry that I was never a car painter mom?

Said child actually turned down her iPod (signalling serious talk). "No, mom, thank you, it's the one thing I think you did right. I don't want my name on the car. Besides, James would find the markers and write something really gross." With that, said child turns her iPod back up and tunes me back out. 

Cool. Well. At least one invisible spawned another. 

But I have to admit that I wish I had cool, legible handwriting to pull it off. 

Oh, and James? Yeah. He totally would have ambushed the car. And a part of me laughs and thinks, well, that is totally my family.

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