I’ve always been one of those mothers you see running after her kid brandishing a wet wipe. But last week, at Lithuanian camp, I perfected the art of embarrassing my children.
You see, every year at camp (also sometimes during the Saturday school Christmas pageant and at the occasional cocktail party) my friend V and I do a little schtick. The schtick changes depending on the venue, but it’s always built around our stock characters – her John Cleese to my Hugh Laurie.
This year, one of our evening programs at camp was a full-out Lithuanian folk dance-off and my friend V and I were the emcees. She played a militant Lithuanian folk dancer, hell-bent on discipline and perfection, and I was her tree hugging, interpretive dancing, ancient pagan goddess worshiping comic foil. V was all business in full folk regalia, while I wore a flowing white dress and a wreath the size of a car tire. I had a butterfly on my bosom and some oak leaves tucked into my flip-flops.
Whenever I do a summer camp skit, I think deeply about my character. What are her interests? What is her history? What is it that makes her tick? Playing a spaced out hippie required that I sing off-key, walk around in a stupor, and intermittently flap my imaginary butterfly wings.
At one point during the act, my character heard the ancient Lithuanian earth goddess, Žemyna, calling to her. I stretched out on the asphalt, which was serving as our stage, to receive her message. And just as I was putting my ear to the ground, I caught a glimpse of my daughter sitting three feet away from me, surrounded by a little posse of her camp friends.
She was not amused.
But it was going to take more than the cold shoulder of a third-grader to get me out of character. I forged onward with the skit, doing a little interpretive dancing here, a little flapping of my imaginary wings there.
Then I looked over and saw my son.
He wouldn’t even look at me.
I knew then, that neither of my children would be talking to me for a couple of days, at least.Subscribe to the blog. (It's free!)