Sunday, July 11, 2010

Unmasking the myth

It was midnight. The cat was circling my legs. And the only noise in the house beside the occasional feline roar was the whirring of my sewing machine.

Scratch that. Ittybit's sewing machine. The one I'd bought her for Christmas. Wait. What am I talking about? The sewing machine SANTA had gotten her for Christmas.

See what I mean? I don't think straight these days … It must be the heat … or the job … or worries stacked on top of stress, balancing on a thin wire of I-don’t-know-what.

Or maybe it’s just the myth of parenthood as a selfless act.

Why else would I think it would be fun to make superhero cape towels for every kid that attended The Champ's summer birthday sprinkler party?

Another lie. I knew exactly what I was thinking.

I am Super-ego Mom.

I was thinking monogrammed cape towels – half a bath towel, a few inches of ribbon, a hem, a washcloth for a shield and some letters sloppily snipped from scraps of fleece – would REALLY impress our guests.

I was thinking ours would be THE party of the summer, the stuff of legend, my ticket to popularity. People would be talking about me - more specifically the creative Supermom I always wanted to be - for years. Moms everywhere would say my name in hushed and reverent tones.


I don't really know how to sew.

Moreover, I don't know how to fix a sewing machine that all of a sudden, a mere 14 hours before The Legendary Party of the Century, decides it can't sew another stitch either.

"Honey?" (I call him "Honey" when I want him to do something unpleasant, such as cleaning up the dog yard or dragging the recycling to the curb.)

"What Dear?" (He calls me "Dear" when he plans to ask for something unpleasant in return, such as burying whatever the cat killed or dragging the recycling rejects back to the house).

"Can you take a look at my … uh, Ittybit’s … sewing machine. It stopped working completely and there's one towel left. …"

I can practically hear is left eyebrow raise. He can't really say no. He kept telling people to "just stop on by" long after the invitations had been sent. Yet he's not above trying to stay right where he planted himself after a long, hard day. He doesn't want to peel himself away from the couch and cable TV.

"But you don't have to make THEM towels … They might not even come," he says in protest.

"Fine," I say with all the inflection of the opposite. "I'm sure they won't feel left out. … ‘Everyone at the party has a super cape except for YOU little heartbroken boy and his tear-stained sister. … I'll just put some marker on a tissue and Scotch tape it to your shoulders'."

"OK. I'll get my screwdriver."

He's a good guy, my husband, for managing a smile as he trades mindless TV for a few more stitches of my insanity. In the morning he even tries to make this midnight crafting madness seem as if it were a redeeming quality.

"Your mom really is Supermom," he announces to The Champ over bagels.

"No she's not," the birthday boy answers between bites, "she's Super-ego Mom."

Reach Siobhan Connally at

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