“Mom, you’re a dork,” she said with an indulgent smile.
This is not the first time I have heard this, nor is she the first of my children to tell me so. Usually I get the dork comment when I dance in the car to music they think I shouldn’t like, or like something that’s not “cool”. Most often it’s said with a bit of affection and forbearance. Fortunately, I don’t let their “dork radar” stifle my impulses.
This time I had changed my Facebook profile picture to that of Chilly Willy and posted a goofy status to go with it. I usually don’t follow the Facebook fad flow, but seeing other people’s choices in this bit of temporary insanity made me realize that people chose cartoons that they identified with, and that told me a little more about them. Some cartoons I hadn’t even thought of for years, and some were spot on in character for that person; just perfect upon reflection, though I might not have thought of precisely that one for them. I went on the hunt for some little-remembered cartoon from my childhood that would say something about me, and came up with a penguin that was always looking for ways to get warm at the South Pole and had a dog for a nemesis. Chilly Willy and Smedley worked at opposite purposes throughout most of the episodes, but always ended up as friends. What that says about me, aside from the fact that I’m pretty darned happy in front of a roaring fire, I don’t know. Does that make me a dork? Probably.
What will it be next time I get the “dork” label? Could be any number of things. It always reminds me that not only are we monitoring them, they are monitoring us. It also encourages me to be a little silly and not mind being an embarrassing parent. I read somewhere in the Parent Handbook that’s a prime directive anyway.
Yes, I’m a dork, but I’m their dork. They don’t seem to mind – too much.