Sunday, May 6, 2012
What she got with that MRS Degree
Many, many springs ago- seems like a thousand, but it was probably only around ten- the Mother Bear in these ads was curled up in a corner with an AP US History book pressed up against her knees. She was taking probably her fifth or sixth practice test, or maybe she was scratching out yet another essay to hand to her teacher for review. She was worried that she couldn't seem to get more than 55 out of 80 Multiple-Choice Questions right, but at the same time she was proud that her essay grade average had improved considerably since the first semester, the previous September.
Of course, her principle goal was to simply PASS her very first Advanced Placement exam (at her school, tenth graders took the US History Test, 11th graders took European History.) Beyond that, she knew that the college she hoped to attend only accepted 4s and 5s for credit-- if she merely passed with a 3, that would be quite an achievement for such a young bear, but not enough to allow her to avoid Freshman History at the local University. Her teacher assured her that college history could be a fun and wonderfully educational experience and that she should view the Advanced Placement Test as a way to sharpen essay-writing and test-taking skills and not worry about her grade, and she understood this; still, she really wanted to get that 4. Or maybe even a 5, wouldn't that be amazing?!
The May morning which saw this bear take the exam has come and gone, and was followed by other springs spent sitting on floors with prep books and other May mornings filling out ovals and scribbling out essays. Each exam came with it's own little package of anxiety, excitement, and relief. Chances are, the actual scores soon faded into memory, and in a short while the whole exercise was filed away with all the other experiences that make up a Young Bear's life, to be remembered in fuzzy blurs, or not at all.
And on this May morning, which seems like a thousand years later but is probably only around ten, that not-as-young-as-she-used-to-be bear is acting as Inspector of her Son's Butt, making sure there aren't any pieces of bathroom tissue he missed when he wiped himself. If he did a good job, maybe he'll get a medal (he's got one on a few of the package labels, I kid you not. It reads "No. 1," which makes ZERO sense when you remember how he earned it.)
I wonder if this Mommy Bear ever experiences moments of introspection. For her sake, I kind of hope not. Because it would be cruel for her to spend any time thinking back to those spring days with her AP prep books, those extra nights of studying, that last evening of butterflies before the test, as she checks her son's ass for tissue bits for the fourth or fifth time on THIS spring day. When Daddy Bear comes home from the office after a hard day of work, he doesn't need to be met by a Mommy Bear quietly weeping in her favorite chair as Son watches his favorite video, his reward for getting all the paper off. He just wants his dinner, and some gratitude for his willingness to provide All This.