Wisdom thru MadLibs

Somehow, MadLibs triggered a nugget of wisdom.

It all started with a Mad Libs puzzle. We took the Mini Teenager out to dinner to celebrate a big birthday. This was after the big birthday bash, complete with water slides, friends, sun, fun, cake and “I don’t wanna go yet!” Next day was the actual birth-day, so we took Mini Teenager out to her favorite (well, second-favorite, first being frozen yogurt). While we wait for the waitress, we find a Mad Libs sheet in the back of the children’s menu (don’t tell anyone, we’re too old for children’s menu).

“Give me a plural noun,” commands Mini Teenager.

“Cats,” blurts out mom.

“Now I need an adjective,” turning to dad.

“Ubiquitous,” the smart-alecky dad over-enunciates, rounding out the vowels.

“What!?,” Mini Teenager scratches her head and looks at me to explain to dad that all she asked for was a simple adjective. “What’s ‘U-tick-utous’?”

“Can we stick to third-grade adjectives,? I say blinking to him. “He did give you an adjective, just a very big one,” I say to Mini Teenager. “And now HE is going to explain what it means.”

I throw the ball back in his court because I often get stuck with the difficult questions. Like where do people go when they die, and why does dad’s handwriting look the same as Santa’s.

They work it out and we finish the Mad Lib with something that sounds like “The ubiquitous cats went flying over the grilled chicken and shot red beams out their elbows.” A likely highlight of a rollercoaster birthday week.

It was not until the next day that I realized I have now entered the realm of the slightly displaced and no-longer-omnipresently-needed mother. See, Mini Teenager is growing fast. She’s putting things together. She knows she’s not an extension of me. She knows I have a life outside of my mothering role. When I explained the whole dad-Santa handwriting, she said she already knew, she was just playing along so that we, the parents, did not feel bad. (I told her that’s the real magic of Christmas.)

So, now that we’ve gotten this far without major physical or emotional injury, what secrets are there to keep? What bumps are there to avoid? Why keep trying to be in all places at all times trying to catch the Mini Teenager before she falls off that tree branch/rail/couch? Why keep trying to be the omnipresent, omniscient, supermom?

U-biq-ui-tous: Being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent. Ubi means where in Latin. Which explains the Spanish word ubicación, or location. Maybe we all need to realign our location. As Mini-Teenager grows up, I find myself slipping into a more comfortable place. Letting go. Relaxing. Letting the wise child lead the way.

I think I’m gonna like the next phase of motherhood…Wherever my new ubi puts me.

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