So, I had to resort to Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 rule to help me decide how the weekend will unfold.
You see, this Sunday is my big guy’s eighth birthday. Instead of a party, he’s opted to make a weekend out of it, starting on Friday. Apparently, that’s what big kids do.
Thing is, this weekend is also the staging of The Vagina Monologues, on Saturday, and When a Woman Moans, on Sunday. Both are one night only, no encore, and not just that. The producers, Women of Antigua, have said they will go on hiatus with the annual advocacy production after this year. There is no catching it next year. On top of all that, I wrote one of the pieces that will be performed on Sunday.
And so I’m sure you understand my dilemma.
The 10-10-10 rule, which I discovered a few years ago – and used once before promptly forgetting about it – aids the decision-making process when your multiple selves (mom, professional, human, etc) collide.
It asks what will be the consequence of your decision in the next 10 minutes; the next 10 months; and the next 10 years.
As it turns out, I was in angst for some time, and even when my son declared that he wanted to do the main event on Saturday, I was still feeling guilty about entertaining the thought of slipping away on Sunday night. And this although show time coincides with what should be bedtime. Hey, it’s easy to fall prey to the super mom syndrome.
But then I had some sense knocked into me. It wasn’t an altruistic move at all. In fact, the intention was to break my spirit, but what it did was strengthen my resolve. And I know that it is important for me to support Women of Antigua in the work they do, combining the gender discourse and gender disparity with theatre. I am committed to supporting with both my pen and with my presence this weekend.
In 10 minutes after I leave, someone might make a remark. My son might even pout a bit. Chances are (fingers crossed) he won’t even miss me.
In 10 months, there will be so much bonding time, including taking advantage of the holiday on Monday to continue the birthday celebrations, that my absence for a few hours on Sunday ought not to matter.
In 10 years? Man, I’m sure our lives will take many twists and turns, some unforeseeable, and I’m also sure we would have surmounted higher hurdles.
The worst that should happen is some comment from the birthday boy. And let me tell you, he has a way with words.
Take last Thursday, for instance. I pull into the schoolyard and two boys made haste to meet me.
Boy number one reports that my son has dropped the f-bomb on him and “lots of other insults.”
The other, let’s just say his dressing down included a sentence that had big, fat and head in it, as well as some unkind things about his mother’s bottom.
My son’s defense when he got into the car?
“He drowned me,” the boy said of Complainer Number One.
After checking to make sure I was seeing a boy and not an apparition, I discovered that my kid and Boy Number, contrary to the rules, were roughhousing in the pool; and they were ejected.
They were told to sit together to work whatever the issue was. I don’t know what went awry. All I know is that Complainer Number Two added his two cents to the debate, and not in favour of my kid.
Well, when I was that age, and for some time to come, we thought we were quite sassy when we told people to mind their business saying, “This is an A and B conversation; C (see) your way out of it.”
Apparently that doesn’t work these days, and as my li’l sis would say, my boy “went in.”
Listen, right then and there, I dealt with the matter seriously, by talking to the adult in charge to ascertain what had really happened. I also had a long talk with my boy about not letting people take him off his crease.
But let me tell you, at around midnight, as I was drifting off to sleep, I had a hearty laugh, recalling the incident and the looks on everyone’s faces.
Hey, what can I say? That’s my boy; the little peanut who came screaming into this world eight years ago and, from day one, laid a claim to being high maintenance.
I kept stealing glances at him as we drove to school yesterday. He was sitting in the front seat having commandeered the stereo system to listen to (gasp) dancehall.
This boy, who, just the other day, used to make me repeatedly sing The Rainbow Collection was bopping his head and singing along to a genre of music that, truth be told, is among my least favourite.
He hasn’t changed that much. He played the same song over and over, so that it’s stuck in my head.
Last year, when we were Stateside, as he was centre stage and would not be deterred from painstakingly making his longwinded point, his godmother looked at me and asked half-jokingly, “Where did you get him from?”
“I prayed for him,” was my honest response.
I really did. He’s the one that healed my broken heart, after several attempts, and he continues to bring me joy.
My baby isn’t a baby anymore, yet he’ll always be my baby.