If you recall, last week the doll was sick and unable to attend a school dance. I had volunteered to be one of the parent chaperones and decided to go ahead and honor my commitment while the doll wallowed in self-pity at home. “Doll, I made a commitment….” I said to her. “I know. But you have to admit it’s weird that my mom is going to a 7th/8th-grade dance and I’m not”. She replied. “I’ll tell you what…if I get there and they don’t need me, then I’ll come back home, okay?” She nodded her head before adding, “Do me a favor and tell everyone I’m in the hospital”. “Yeah, like I would be at a school dance while you were “dying” in the hospital” I replied to my dramatic girl. Smiling back at me, she said, “Dad’s with me”. “Is this to make me look bad or for them to feel sorry for you?” I asked. “Maybe a little of both…” She replied. Thankfully before I left the house she stopped me and said, “You know I was joking right? Please don’t tell anyone I’m in the hospital”. Looking back I replied, “Well at least I know you’re feeling better–your sense of humor has returned.
When I arrived at the dance I was inundated with questions from her friends, “Is she coming? Is she okay? I really wish she had come. Will she be in school next week?” One little girl told me she was surprised the doll hadn’t fought harder to come, considering it was Kellin’s birthday. “Who’s Kellin?” I wondered. One parent looked at me and said, “Let me get this straight, your daughter is home sick, yet you’re still here to chaperone?” Smiling back I said, “Well, I have a couple of reasons to be here… First of all I made a commitment to chaperone and the doll has been fever free for most of the day today.” “Not me, if my daughter was sick I’d have a get out of jail free card…” the parent said. “Well, the other reason is more for me,” I said and received a curious look in return. “Two simple words” I began and then held up my right index and middle finger, to form the number two, illustrating the two words as I said them, “Adult Conversation”.
“Oh…” The parent replied immediately recognizing just how important adult conversation is in all of our lives. “Yes. I spent today with Mrs. K who repeatedly asked me what day today is or tells me the same story over and over again. Actually carrying a conversation with someone that has a beginning, middle and end makes so much difference. In addition, with the doll sick, we’ve been hanging pretty close to home. God knows I love my husband, but I need some variety in my life, conversation wise.” The other parent laughed and agreed. “I called Mary and begged her to help tonight, just so I could have someone to talk to while here”. “Yes, adult conversation is key to keeping mom’s sane.” I laughed.
After an hour and a half of laughing, talking and a little chaperoning, I said my goodbyes and walked on home. The doll met me at the door, wanting to know all that had happened. After giving her the highlights, she decided she wanted to talk a little more about being thirteen and the “problems” of 7th grade, so we did. “By the way, Nicole was surprised you didn’t fight harder to come and celebrate Kellin’s birthday. Who is Kellin?” I asked.
Giving me the “You’re sooo cluelessly dumb” look she replied quietly, “Lead singer from Sleeping with Sirens Mom”. “Oh, the screaming dude…?” I asked and received an eye roll in return. I began to laugh and said, “Yep, I can tell you feel better…” Which resulted in another eye roll, which made me laugh harder.