Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm a ten

My five-year-old pulled her worksheet out of her backpack. "I am... a mom lover; a dreamer; a girl." Loving me being a defining characteristic for her? Wow! Perhaps I'm better at this whole motherhood thing than I thought. Then the uncanny resemblance to the lyrics of Rainbow Connection (a betimes requested song at bedtime) dawned on me: "...the lovers, the dreamers, and me."

Thank you, Universe. Bubble successfully burst.

Her worksheet reminded me of a funny little unit ages ago in my 5th grade class. Perhaps meant as a self-esteem builder, it was quite the opposite. Picture this: Twenty-five 5th graders are asked to come up with ten positive words to describe themselves. This isn't, however, just a list for the writer. On the contrary, they are then instructed to write these ten words on a bright red t-shirt, then finish it off with an enthusiastic "I'm a Ten!" scrawled underneath. As if this wasn't enough for awkward ten-year-olds on the verge of puberty, each is then required to stand on a table with a microphone in hand and rap their list in front of their classmates.

Yes, that is what I said: rap their list of ten words they hesitantly placed on a seemingly benign list.

When asked to pump ten descriptive words out under duress, you are bound to end up with one or two odd ones. My (and my husband's) favorite? Alert. What did I even mean by that? Whatever I may have meant then, I am anything but alert these days thanks to my baby and two-year-old. To borrow another line from Rainbow Connection:

Have you been half asleep?
And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.

Despite the trauma associated with creating this shirt, I have kept it, intending to eventually make it into some sort of self-aware, wearable statement for myself. I couldn't get it to fit me right, though, so I decided to tweak it (yoga shirt-style) and bequeath it on my daughter. When I handed her the finished product, she was pretty excited.

"Are these all things that I am, Mom?"
I should say so, my dear.


  1. that yoga shirt idea sure beats the rag bucket. I'm really going to have to try one of those.

    and I have to say that "mom lover" and "the lovers" and two entirely different items. you're doing something exceptionally right to get that one.

  2. Have you heard Kenny Loggins' version of that song? It's exquisite.

  3. oh dear. the teacher who came up with the rap part of that assignment should have their licenses taken away.