Saturday, September 5, 2009

The best (and worst) compliment..

Walking by my son as he was doing homework on my laptop computer, I recognized lyrics I'd written coming out of the tinny little speakers: "From the minute I get up until I go to bed at night/I have to do what they say or it turns into a fight." I stopped in my tracks. He was listening to a recording of the New York staged reading!

Surprised, I asked, "Is that the only thing I have on iTunes?"

"The only good thing," he mumbled, going on with his work. I was shocked! I was pleased! What a compliment from a 12-year-old boy!

Today, while we were cleaning house, he shut off the vacuum cleaner for a moment and told me, "I've got the B-song in my head: 'They make me clean the closet floors and vacuum every stair...'" I couldn't have been more proud... but I felt a little sinking feeling in my stomach. I mean, in the song, Ashley's singing about her really mean stepsisters. And I'm a nice mom. I'm working side by side with him. But he just seemed happy to have a song in his head, effectively whistling while he worked. He riffed on "The Big Bitch" as I turned the rugs, turning the B-word into itch and twitch as he sang. (Censoring my lyrics. Adorably.)

But later this evening, when we got into an argument about homework, he really threw it in my face. On the edge of anger, he said through clenched teeth, "I want to sing your own song at you! Your expectations are too low; your standards are too high! Or... something like that."

Ouch! The first little sting of hormonal venom! (In my defense, if you can call it that, I was actually bribing him to learn all the state capitols.)

On the one hand, I feel hugely inflated and grandly validated that my lyrics managed to get stuck in the head of a pre-teen! (Positive market research!)

Oh the other hand... oh why did it have to be my own kid?!