I can’t listen to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem in the car without cranking up the volume. It is also nearly impossible to keep my shoulders from dancing or my fingers from tapping the steering wheel. But then add my almost 14-year-old daughter in the car and we might as well install black lights and a fog machine because we sing and sway so enthusiastically you can hear us coming for miles. The car becomes our own personal dance club and recording studio.
While we were stopped at a light on Sunday, I pretended a small umbrella was a microphone and belted out a few lines in my best Elmo impersonation, causing The Tortoise to start choking on her own spit from laughing so hard. By the time we reached our destination, we were breathlessly silly.
“Mom, ” The Tortoise asked between gasps, “Were you always this cool?”
“Huh?” I asked perplexed, turning off the car.
“Were you always this fun and outgoing?”
I shook my head in embarrassment.
“Not outwardly,” I said cautiously, “I have always felt this way on the inside but was too afraid of what other people thought of me.”
“That’s surprising,” she replied.
“Because I just can’t picture you being any other way – you say what you think, you make friends with everyone, you have fun whenever possible and don’t mind laughing at yourself.”
“Do I embarrass you?” I asked concerned.
“Not at all!” she said quickly, flashing a big grin, “I like it.”
“Well, good,” I sighed in relief.
“So when did you change your mind about what other people think?”
“When I became your mom,” I said. “Then I just worried about what you thought of me.”
We got out of the car and headed towards the restaurant.
The Tortoise grabbed my hand in the parking lot, gave it a tight squeeze, “Well, I think I want to be just like you.”