Three years ago, Smartmom started Edgy Mother’s Day, an annual reading of fiction, non-fiction and poetry about motherhood and mothers at the Old Stone House in Park Slope. It’s motherhood without sanctimony and an evening of maternal revelry, wisdom and irreverent fun.
This is not your mother’s Mother’s Day, but a celebration of mommydom that will shock, rock, and make you laugh ’til your thongs snap!
Smartmom had sort of a vague idea of what she meant by “edgy mom,” but it was always hard to articulate when people would ask, “So what is an edgy mom, anyway?”
Well, she’s feisty and fun and a little bit zany. She whines to her friends and can be a bit of a martyr. She fantasizes about getting a room of her own on Block Island with a computer and a view of the sea. She lets her kids have dessert before dinner, reheated pizza for breakfast and NEVER remembers to bring Cheerios in a little Tupperware container to the playground.
Except when she does and then she feels victorious!
Her kids have seen her fight with their dad and yell at her mom and curse her sister on the phone. They’ve watched her cry.
She’s been known to throw away her children’s old toys and art supplies when they’re not around — and then pretend that she doesn’t know where they are when they ask.
But she can’t let go of their artwork — even that sharp pointy wood sculpture that her son made at the Montessori school. She loves when they sleep over at a friend’s house. The apartment is so quiet, so serene, and so terribly lonely.
She looks forward to her late afternoon glass of wine. And once or twice, she has let her kids miss school when she feels like sleeping in.
Sometimes she takes a bath when she should be making dinner or reads “Anna Karenina” when she’s supposed to be helping with homework.
She watches shows like “Gossip Girl” and discusses the travails of Blair, Serena, Chuck and Dan with her 13-year-old daughter — even if the show isn’t appropriate for 13-years-olds
She’s not sure what is appropriate for 13-year-olds.
Sometimes she feels like the most boring person on earth, like someone’s mother and that’s all. But on a good day that seems like the greatest job in the world.
She tries not to tell my-kids-are-so-amazing stories, or say to new moms, “Enjoy it now; they’re gonna grow up fast” — even though it’s true.
She hates to sound like an old fart, an elderstates-mom or a know-it-all — even though she is.
And she tries not to say, “Do you mind if I brag?” — even though there is SO much to brag about. She’s made a lot of mistakes, some she would never ever admit to anyone.
She’s afraid she’s ruined her kids somehow. She knows that everything is her fault.
If only she’d followed those expert books. Or even read them. And she wishes that she didn’t let her kids get away with murder.
She hates to watch them puke or be in pain or feel sad when they’ve had their feelings hurt. She wants to kill anyone who hurts her child. Sometimes she even wants to kill her children. But just for a teeny, tiny fleeting second.
She tries to make eye contact when they have a very long story to tell — even when there’s so much else she needs and wants to do. And now that they’re teenagers, she practically grovels for attention, for those long stories she used to tire of.
She loves her kids with a passion that makes her ache, moan, yell and scream, and feel all gooey inside. Do you mind if she brags?
So that’s an edgy mom.
Edgy Mother’s Day with Sophia Romero, Michele Madigan Somerville, Wendy Ponte, Marian Fontana, Yona Zeldis McDonough, Kathy Fine, Martha Southgate, Allison Pennell, Jill Eisenstadt at the Old Stone House [336 Third St. between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 768-3195], May 20, 8 pm.