In case you’re wondering how scintillating I really am, let me tell you about my recurring dream in which I am folding laundry. That is all that I do in the dream; fold laundry. Even my dream self gets bored as I patiently fold shirts, towels, etc., and sort them into neat piles. Sometimes I’m able to wake myself up, like a person having a nightmare, by saying to my dream-self you’re having that boring dream again – wake up! Unfortunately, when I go back to sleep I often have my second recurring dream in which I’m making soup. Just me, stirring a large Dutch oven full of soup. Often the soup in question is eggplant soup, and sometimes I wonder if I should leave it chunky or puree it, and then I get out my blender. At this point I usually wake up.
If dreams indeed do mean anything at all, I wonder what these say about me. I’m afraid it wouldn’t be flattering.
But who needs exciting, anyway? The house has enough excitement without ME being a thrill-a-minute. While we were on vacation, I realized – not for the first time, nor for the last – that my husband truly is the fun parent. He’s the one cannonballing into the pool with the kids while I lazily float by, only in the water long enough to cool off before resuming my poolside book reading. He’s the one who could spend hours with them playing in the wave pool while I need to go warm up in the hot tub after ten minutes. He’s the one who takes them on epic bike rides and stages legendary water fights while I drink wine and gossip with my mother.
It might be weird having two fun parents anyway; I mean, someone has to be the grim-faced harridan who oversees sunscreen application and adequate hydration and proper nutrition even while on holiday. So that someone might as well be me.
On occasion, I can be actually fun. I will go down any waterslide at a water park, I will go on any rollercoaster, and I even buy the kids the occasional sno cone or cotton candy, considering that all that sugar and food colouring is PROBABLY okay in moderation. We were at a very fun aquatic centre while on vacation, and the kids had a blast. They finished the afternoon by jumping off the diving board several times, and they urged me to join them. I declined, but then started to think that maybe I should. I should TRY to be fun, I want the kids to remember me as being occasionally adventurous and cool. I watched my husband do a spin jump off the diving board, to cheers from them, and so I decided yes. I hadn’t jumped off a diving board in thirty years but dammit, I can be fun too, I thought. I removed my hair band, patted my braid into place, and stepped onto the diving board. I jumped, then swam to the side. My husband looked at me for a moment, then informed me that my bikini top had not stayed where it was supposed to. Wardrobe malfunction! I fixed it and said that I hoped no one witnessed my embarrassment. He was silent for a moment, while I was briefly encouraged that I was right, that no one saw my nipple. Eventually he broke it to me; several people, including the lifeguards and the parents at the side of the pool, DID see. Oh.
Fun and exciting, it’s overrated. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to fold.