Sunday, October 13, 2013

Leave me out of it

For the past several years, I was under strict orders to leave the oldest Huffman out of this column. As a high-school student, she did not appreciate her mother broadcasting her so-called escapades, no matter how clever I thought I was being.
I get it. Most teens don’t want us moms blabbing about them to anyone — not to our friends, not to their grandparents — and definitely not in print and shared with thousands of strangers over breakfast.
So to keep the peace, I kept a lid on much of the high school years of the oldest girl.
Like the time she said she was going to sleep over at a girlfriend’s house and I found out that she, her friends and several b-o-y-s had instead gone camping at Lake Berryessa. Overnight. With tents. 
Or the time she and a girlfriend slept in her car in the parking lot at Napa Valley College after grad night because they were “too tired” to drive two miles home to our house.
Or how about that one semester when our girl, who happened to have spent more than a decade in Catholic schools, barely passed her religion class.
Yeah, I had to leave out stuff like that. What we writers do for our children.
But now, with oldest daughter at college one time zone away, I figure I have some wiggle room on our agreement.
There’s no Napa Valley Register sitting on her kitchen table each morning.
No teachers to comment during math class on my latest column.
No one to ask her if she is the sister in that one column I wrote about someone farting on someone else’s math book.
It’s not like I set out to embarrass them on purpose.
I like to think I poke more fun at myself in this column than I do our girls. I feel like I’m the one bumbling through motherhood.
They’re just along for the ride.
There have been a handful of times when I’ve been out with our girls and a reader has actually said something encouraging about this here column. How often does a mom get complimented in public, in front of her kids, and for something work related?
That’s the kind of role modeling our girls need. To see mom doing something she hopes to do well at, no matter how badly I fumble through my 500-word limit. That it’s OK to be more than just “mom.”
I wonder if the other two Huffman girls are worried mom’s column-writing attention will swing their way now that oldest daughter has physically relocated.
True, I have written an awful lot about the youngest Huffman’s bunny farm lately.
Middle daughter is lying low, but she just got her driver’s permit. And we are going to see the oldest daughter for an upcoming parents weekend at her college.
Just think of the column possibilities. 

No comments: