I wrote schmaltzy, over-the-top poetry as a teenager. I still have some of it. Vague notions of what it would be like to be loved by a boy, or at least to find one who wasn’t afraid of me, filled my notebook.
Most of this over-emoting passed in Junior High, thankfully. In Senior High, I seemed to hit my stride (almost literally on the basketball court), replacing many of my obsessive thoughts about boys with other obsessions, like my free throw and turnover percentages.
Now, decades later, I think I’ve passed on my early teen propensity for melodrama to my daughter, Vivian, who frequently expresses all of her emotions in writing. Recently, I annoyed my Grade Two cutie once again. I can’t remember what I wouldn’t do for her (perhaps pack her school bag or let her have a third cheese stick). Suffice it to say I was ignoring her request, like many an online parent.
Snubbed, Vivian threw open her craft drawer, yanked out a sheet of paper, and scrawled her thoughts quickly. She then slammed her note on the table beside me and strode away.
I had come face-to-face with a teenager, possibly my younger self.
I closed my computer and read the note below:
As a parent, not only have I become my mother, but I’ve also become my daughter.
Send help, most likely to Vivian, who’s stuck with me.
Please help me to interpret Vivian’s usage of “Uh-ta” in the note. Funny responses are welcome.