06
Mar
09

Fail Wail

I planned to never be one of those parents.
The kind who rolls down the window and yells,
“Where are you going? School’s the other way”
When they see a kid walking at 9 am.
I was never going to be one of those moms
Who screams and acts as if she’s going to faint
When she sees young people engage in what
Used to be called foreplay outside the school door.
Most of all I was hoping that if I
Stayed ever hip and cool I could avoid
The wail. That vocal expression of pure horror
Bestowed by teenage girls on their mothers
If Mom does something terrible like mix up
The Beatles and the Monkees or forget
Which Jonas Brother is known as the cute one.
And yet…

I heard it in my kitchen this morning.
“I was supposed to have an idea
For my Chemistry project by today,” she said.
“It has to do with polysaccharides.”
“That’s what makes up sugar, isn’t it?”
I asked innocently as mothers have
From the Dark Ages through earlier today.
There was an audible intake of breath and then
“Polysaccharides make up fiber, Mom!
A disaccharide only forms a sugar!”
Neither of us spoke for a while. And you know
The shame is that- hidden in my head- there
Is a truth that we’re never going to share.
I know that Nick Jonas is the cute one.

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