For instance, today was T.'s acting and singing debut at school. He's in first grade so the fact that he memorized his line and remembered most of the lines of the songs was huge. And his fellow classmates did the same. As I stood in the back of the gym in order to have a better shot for my pictures (see, I do have *some* mom abilities), I lost track of the number of moms who looked over at me with tears literally glistening in their eyes and said, "They're so cute. They're going to make me cry." Not trusting myself not to rudely ask why, I simply stuck with the head bob that they all took as a sign of mutual feeling. But I didn't feel that way. Why for all that is holy would a first grade play choke anyone up? As I watched T., I noticed that he was louder than anyone else and flatly tone deaf. Given this, I might perhaps cry because of bleeding ears but really, I had to restrain myself from visible wincing. Sure, he's darn cute. He loves to perform, especially when there's an audience. And he nailed his lines, garnering the biggest laugh of the play (and why not, since he was a "walrus in love with a tuna"). But a tear jerker, it wasn't.
But then I am clearly a philistine when it comes to getting sentimental over my kids. Did I cry when they were born? Nope. Did I cry when any of the little buggers graduated from pre-school? Nope. Did I cry when I put oldest child, W., on the bus for the first time? Nope. (I actually did a little happy dance. And I did a bigger happy dance when R. followed him onto the bus the following year. I practically stripped my shirt off and ran around the soccer field in just a sports bra when T. hopped on the bus. Oh wait, that wasn't me. But that's how I felt about everybody being at school all day long.) I just don't cry over their stuff. Don't get me wrong, I do love them and all. But I don't understand the weepies over the milestones or the manufactured cuteness moments. Like I said, I am not a sentimental mom. Maybe I'll save all my tears for after the kids are out of the nest but I somehow doubt it.
I'm even so unmaternal, I delight in finding new way to embarrass the kids. Today's discovery was that it is completely mortifying for mom to stand at the self-checkout line at the grocery store and feed all of the assorted coins in her purse into the cash slot. Nevermind that I had about $25 in change because the pre-teen has suddenly decided that he needs bills rather than change and has gone into my purse, aka his own personal bank, to exchange my bills for his change. The fact that I was determined to use said cash, was terrible enough but to actually stand there and have to listen to the ka-chink of each coin as it went in was the height of mortification. Made me feel postively gleeful, it did. See, the non-sentimental mother will find devious and inspired ways to pay back (literally) any snarfty pre-teen behavior because she is unburdened by remembrances of sweet toddlerhood. I know, I know. The official notice of motherhood rights revocation is probably in the mail even as we speak. I most likely won't weep over that either.