So I’ve been standing here ironing the jacket to my teenage son’s suit, which isn’t even wrinkled, but I feel the need to do something to help him get ready for his first formal dance tonight.
I can’t ensure he’ll have fun at the dance when he gets there, or that he won’t step on his date’s feet.
I can’t guarantee that he will be happy tonight – or ever, except when his team is winning its game.
So I’m doing what moms do, which is iron something that’s already wrinkle-free.
I actually was impressed with myself that I remembered how to turn the iron on.
The last time I got it out of the laundry cupboard, where it lies buried behind the gardening supplies that no one ever touches, my kids were astonished.
“We own an iron?” they asked, looking at each other in wonder.
It was like I’d suddenly pulled a Model T out of the garage.
I saw their eyes darting through the cupboard, wondering what other bizarre historical artifacts might be lurking there.
While Cheetah Boy was showering and putting on cologne, I ironed his dress shirt and tie – the first ones he has worn without protesting at the top of his lungs.
Then, because I had nothing else to do, I started pointlessly ironing his jacket, while reflecting on other such things moms do.
You give them a Kleenex for a broken heart, while your own heart is aching for them.
You keep cheering at the game until you’re hoarse, even when you see the team is flaming out.
You wipe the pudding off her face, knowing that it will all be back in a flash.
You tell him to wear a jacket because it’s cold outside, then see him walk out the door half naked.
You tell her that if that friend said all those mean things, she’s not really your friend anyway, so don’t feel sad.
Buddy the Wonder Dog had his own way of helping Cheetah Boy with his suit and tie for the dance: He waited until they were lying on the sofa, awaiting my ironing touch, then jumped on them all and decorated them with his nice wiry terrier hair.
I had already helped Cheetah Boy pick out a corsage for his girlfriend, a microscopic pair of orchids that cost $28.33 and didn’t include a box, because the florist ran out. Seriously? Half the fun of getting a corsage is taking it out of the box.
Well, at least we didn’t pay too much for it. And it looked really good under the electron microscope.
There was one way in which I failed my son: I couldn’t show him how to tie his necktie.
Fortunately, he did what every kid alive does now for every similar occasion: He went on YouTube.
And, sure enough, it turned out pretty well.
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FrumpyMiddleagedMom and on Twitter @FrumpyMom.
By MARLA JO FISHER