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2009-09-24 digital edition

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2009-09-24 / Community News

Gettin Above My Raisin'

My children keep me humble. When so many people write to tell me they like to read my musings, I could easily fall into the trap of believing that everyone feels similarly. If that were true, then surely Oprah should have called me by now.

Unfortunately, Oprah continues to be coy and my children remind me why. There is no doubt that my children have some affection for me. After all, I am the one who buys them cookies. But they leave me unintentional gifts that let me know that, after all is said and done, I'm still just a mom.

For example, I might get all dressed up, do my make-up especially well and feel very sophisticated until I step into my high heels and discover that a red Froot Loop had somehow migrated from the kitchen to my closet and is now smashed into smithereens in the toe of my shoe. Do sophisticated people have to put up with that?

My grandfather used to have a saying that would warn any of his would-be sophisticated grandchildren not to "get above your raisin'." When I was younger, I didn't realize that he was talking about our upbringing, not a driedup grape. It's hard not to get above a dried-up grape. Maybe Grandpa was delusional. So. that lesson didn't "stick" for me.

Many times I would get smug after proving to my husband that I was, once again, right and he was, once again, not right. (We don't use the word "wrong" because he doesn't like to be wrong.) Then within 15 minutes, one of my children would prove that I was, in fact. not right.

My husband might say "Honey, I think the cat's pregnant."

"Not possible. We got her fixed, didn't we?"

"Mom! The cat is having babies in my toy box!"

So, Grandpa, if from whatever star you are looking down, you can see my family, you should be very pleased with the way your great-grandchildren are enforcing your edict.

It is impossible to be a sophisticated mom because no matter what you try, your children will see right through the image. What they see is the woman who tried to pour milk into a cereal bowl, hit the spoon, and made a mini Trevi Fountain right there on the breakfast table.

If I ate slowly like nutritionists say you should, I wouldn't get anything to eat. If I wore eyeliner, my children would wonder if today was Halloween.

When I cross my legs, it attracts rodeo riders... the very short kind whose crotch is about the same height as my dangling foot. I can't even be angry for long because one of them will climb up on to my lap and try to press the furrows out of my brow.

So although I may look like a news anchor in my press photograph, the real story is that I looked like that for a full 30 minutes before my children set me straight again.

As long as macaroni and cheese is still the meal of choice; as long as the sneakers in the hall still have sand in them; and as long as there is still the possibility of finding a toad in the bathtub, I won't get above my raisin'.

As long as there is still Pop Tarts in the pantry and "mystery" underwear in the laundry, I will stay humble.

As long as my children are still children, I'll never be even remotely sophisticated.

You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com

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