For nearly 10 years, I've nurtured the wacky little human whom we've nicknamed Kung Fu Panda (or KFP). Apparently, I'm rather good at it. So good, in fact, that I've become the go-to Neighborhood Mom.
I'm the person that Moms ask to babysit their kids before the bus stop when they have a scheduling conflict. I get frantic calls to pick kids up from the bus stop when parents are running late. I'm the one the kids call over when someone injures themselves playing before school, the one with Nemo Band-Aids in a first-aid kit inside my space unicorn backpack. My son has accidental play dates with the kids who spend anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour at our place, waiting for parents to collect them.
I must ooze responsibility. My eyes must be pools of kindness. If I were given to superlatives, I'd call myself the most trustworthy mom in the apartment complex.
Good thing they didn't know me when I was a kid.
Well, not really.
Truthfully, I was a pretty stand-up person even then: the big sister who watched not just her little sister but created a club for that sister, her sister's best friend and that girl's little brother when the big boys created a club they weren't allowed to join.
I fed the cats daily and even changed the litter.
Our church pastor, a family friend, trusted me and my friend Kymbra to hang out in the church, unsupervised after school on Tuesdays until choir practice. The worst thing we ever did was play "Chopsticks" on every piano in the Sunday school rooms.
Sometimes, I wonder what it must be like to run amok. To be a wild child, hiding homework, flinging library books behind the couch. To be the kid who tears it up, literally, who finds the communion wine and parties in the choir loft. The kind of person who leaves behind a colorful mosaic of smashed pumpkins, undone dishes, and broken crayons.
I'd be far more interesting, for sure. Maybe it would be fun, for a moment, to be a denizen of chaos. But I couldn't live like that for long. Instead, I'm the tattletale who would blow the whistle on a person like that.
Frankly, I think the world needs more of us.
Just for fun, here are two of KFP's recent animation projects on Scratch, the kids' coding site run by MIT: 100% Mayhem and 100% Mayhem #2. They are both a series of short funny pieces, and I wrote some jokes for the second one! To start the video, click on the green flag. To stop it, hit the red stop sign symbol.