I come from a newspaper background – I minored in journalism in high school and college, was managing editor of my school paper, etc. So…
I don’t believe in hyperbole. Who, what, when, where, why — in 33 words or less per paragraph. Just the facts, ma’am.
Given that statement, you might ask, “Where the hell did Meredith come from?” I ask myself the same question repeatedly, trust me. The only good thing about being divorced is that you can blame your ex for all your children’s flaws. But to be honest, there’s really no one in that branch of her family tree that explains it either.
Let me just say this: I take no credit for my children’s successes because I take no blame for their excesses. They on they own, as we say down here.
Let me also say this: she is entertaining, disconcertingly so. Has been since a small child. Like me, can’t tell a joke to save her life, but can certainly tell a good story.
At age three, she had a larger social circle than I did. If we went out to lunch, people would stop at our table and say, “Well, look who’s here — it’s Meredith! And you must be Meredith’s mother!” Age. Three. She would then introduce me to our fellow diners.
At three and a quarter, she bargained and bullied her way into a dance class whose minimum age was four. I had to give her teacher permission to spank her to convince her to regulate her ebullience. She was never spanked; she just had to be threatened. At the year end recital, she led the rest of the class into their final gallop – no one else remembered what to do. Tiny little lamb, galloping at the head of the line.
When she was in timeout about the same age, told to think about her misdeeds and left alone for two minutes, she arranged her dolls for a tea party. Put into a chair in the living room to contemplate her naughtiness, she parachute jumped across the room. On the third try, she looked into my stormy face, beamed, and said, “Mama, I just can’t be sorry today!”
I ended up feeling like the head nun in the “Sound of Music.”
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertigibbet? A will of a whisp? A clown?
Many a thing you know you’d like tell her.
Many a thing she ought to understand.
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say?
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?
Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moon beam in your hand?
When I’m with her I’m confused, out of focus, and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am.
Unpredictable as weather.
She’s as flighty as a feather.
She’s a darling — she’s a demon — she’s a lamb.
She’d out pester any pest,
Drive a hornet from its nest.
She can throw a twirling dervish out of whirl.
She is gentle — she is wild.
She’s a riddle — she’s a child.
She’s a headache — she’s an angel — she’s a girl!!
I never did figure it out. Mark her up as a force of nature.