Once upon a time, I was cast as the Cheshire Cat in my elementary school classroom’s production of Alice in Wonderland. With my excellent costume design skills, I found the perfect corduroy pants to match my cat mask with the flimsy rubber band. When it came time for my only responsibility in the scene, I was too busy ogling over my 4th grade crush to effectively execute my line.
The Queen of Hearts not-so-discreetly gave me a sing-songy “Cheshire Cat” to snap me out of my lovesick stupor. Thankful for the whiskered mask to hide my red-faced embarrassment, I abruptly uttered my words flatly.
Not much has changed since then, save perhaps the object of my affection. At any given moment, you can still find me sipping tea with some wild characters and dazing off dreamily offering a distracted response to long drawn-out monologues. “Cool,” I say, and hope I gave the correct response to the long-winded explanation of a Roblox experience. I repeatedly state “wow,” when I’m blasted with the entire history of MLK. My fake laugh is heard when the detailed description of every single clip from America’s Funniest Videos is recapped for me.
Parents, do you feel me on this?
I think I experience this daily with my kids. They’re so excited to share their world with me, but their world is full of cartoons I don’t like and Minecraft, which bores me. I only have so much left in me to care. I know them feels 🙂
I fully understand. I try. I do. I want the things that are important to them to be important to me. But truthfully, it isn’t always. Or ever.