Growing up, my parents attacked supporting my sister and I in our extracurricular activities with a one-on-one defense. My mother would make the 45 minute commute to Milwaukee to take me to dance classes, coached my high school dance team and served as my competition teams personal hair stylist while my dad would shuffle my sister to and from soccer practice, basketball games, cross-country meets, and whatever other sport she so desired that required the hand-eye coordination that I so tragically lack. Need some comedic relief? Ask me to swing a club, throw a ball or dribble anything.
When it came to the big ticket events you could find them both in the stands. Mallory and I were never left feeling shortchanged in the realm of personal-cheerleaders; I’m choosing to ignore the time my over-zealous father got himself ejected from a seventh-grade girls YMCA basketball game for boisterously (and unnecessarily) coaching my sister from the sidelines and the occasion that my mom drank her first long island in celebration of a dance competition victory and wandered out of the restaurant bathroom asking if she had pants on. Adulting is hard, parenting is even harder. And if you’ve ever submersed yourself in the world of competitive dance and somehow escaped without a mild drinking problem, well you’re the stuff legends are made of.
Short of pioneering a meth lab or committing armed robbery, we could have shown interest in any hobby and my parents would have mobilized their two-person booster club and applauded our every move. In any case, Rick and Laurie were solid examples of the supportive roles that parents play in the lives of their children. The natural order would be for me to exude those qualities in backing Rinn at his various extracurriculars; and I do, with encouraging words and the frequent “Go Rinn!” from the sidelines.
What I didn’t anticipate was reciprocation. It’s no secret that he brags on me and my “hor_e show” but on a recent trip to see me in action, I asked my mom to tape one of my acts. I had low expectations since her and technology are far from friends; she still writes and mails checks because the Spanish language is easier to comprehend than online billpay. She’s somehow managed to master the Facebook however. Suspicious Laurie, very suspicious.
Much to my surprise and delight she captured the act in its entirety, but I spent little time actually watching myself during replay because she caught something better than what I would venture to say was my best mainshow aerial performance to date (it’s not perfect but it was my personal best and I’m definitely not mad about it.) The highlight of this recording is Rinn’s running commentary; a combination of play-by-play narration and beautifully encouraging words. Go ahead and try not to audibly swoon when he says “Great job mommy!”
My parents little assemblage has grown to three and I feel like the luckiest mom and daughter in the world.
Because toddler-speak is sometimes a foreign language, I've provided a translation below. Side note: My mom had an aversion to the word Grandma. I had a quarter-life crisis of sorts so I don’t exactly blame her for not wanting to “feel old.” She asked to be called Lolo, something I assumed she found on the internet, and I obliged. Unfortunately for her, Rinn pronounces his L’s as Y’s and now she’s a Yeyo. You win some, you lose some.
Mommy’s the bird, yeyo. Mommy’s the bird, papa.
What is happening?
What is happening?
What is happening, yeyo?
Look mommy’s flying
Mommy just flied.
She’s flying again!
She flied down.
The horse, theres the horse
Mommy didn’t made it, mommy didn’t made it
Mommy got on it
Mommy did it
Great job mommy
Mommys going to do it again yeyo
That guy is helping her fly
Theyre flying together
Mommy’s doing it by herself
Theres a bird!
Good job mommy!