I’m done with writing stories about parenting. And stories about isolation. And, mostly, stories about parenting in isolation. You’ve had enough too, no doubt.
But what else is there?
I called one of my creative pals to ask for her advice on a novel topic. She, too, was unable to recall a time before kids ‘n COVID.
Which is crazy. Sure, I have youngsters, with whom I’ve been trapped inside four walls for many weeks (months?) now. But that’s not all I’m about. I was a hip and happening gal before all of this. I had things to say and space to think my thoughts. I did fun stuff. And I had friends who I was allowed to be near, and we had stimulating conversations about life.
So enough with the tales of exhausted parenting from within a bubble. Enough with the confessions of questionable self-care and solitude-induced confusion. You deserve to hear about what a wild and wonderous woman I truly am.
I asked two of my closest friends - to protect their identities, let’s call them “Hans Gruber” and “Jonathan” - to answer some questions about me. I wanted to illustrate there is so much more to this free-spirited, young(ish) woman than I’ve conveyed thus far.
Time to let the freak-flag fly!
Interview - 04-05-20, 19:17 - Items transcribed verbatim:
Me: Hey guys. Thanks for being here with little to no notice … or choice. Let’s dive right in. *clears throat* If I could go anywhere in the world, where would I go?
Hans Gruber (age three years): Grammy’s?
Jonathan (age seven years): I don’t know… St. John’s? Or Calgary?
Me: *bewildered* … Okay… um… What is my dream job?
Hans Gruber: Uhhh… lions and tigers?
Me: Lions and tigers. Ok… ?
Jonathan: The job you already have?
Me: Moving on. If I could eat any meal, from anywhere in the world, what would it be?
Hans Gruber: Doughnuts?
Jonathan: Probably something we don’t like.
At this point, I could tell my friends were ready to delve deeper…
Me: You guys… what is love?
Hans Gruber: Uh… a heart?
Jonathan: I don’t know.
Hans Gruber: Ow, ow OOWWWW, my owwie! *splashing bath water*
Me: *to Jonathan* Ok but… what do you think it is?
Hans Gruber: It’s hearts?
Me: Ok yes, thank you “Hans Gruber,” that’s still a good answer. “Jonathan,” what about you?
Jonathan: … I really don’t know.
Me: Just say anything. Anything at all.
Daddy - er- I mean, “Gretchen”, another friend who entered the bathroom - I mean studio: Well, “Jonathan”, what do you love?
Me: “Gretchen” please don’t paraphrase the questions.
Gretchen: Yeah, I know, I’m just trying to--
Me: Next question! What were we doing before we were born?
Jonathan: That’s actually a really hard question.
Hans Gruber: *holding foot* Ow, owww, owwwww aaaaahaaaaa…
Gretchen: Just put it in the water, stop playing with it!
Me: *examining Hans Gruber’s owie* Not too bad, buddy. Now, “Hans Gruber,” what were we doing before we were born?
Hans Gruber: *returning foot to water* Uhhhh... toys?
Me: *gulping pinot grigio* What were we doing with the toys?
Hans Gruber: *reconsidering his previous answer* In my car?
Me: Okay, um… What happens when we sleep?
Jonathan: It’s like… your mind is still open, and you have these crazy thoughts. But for me, sometimes when I’m in a deep sleep, I think of nothing. It’s weird because you’re just asleep, but nothing happens.
Me: Yeah… that is weird.
Hans Gruber: *5.5 seconds of fart bubbles*
Me: *ignoring everything* Who is my biggest hero?
Hans Gruber: Love?
Me: Okay, what person is my biggest hero?
Hans Gruber: Grammy?
Jonathan: Oh my goodness, I don’t know… Daddy?
Me: *dummying remainder of pinot grigio* What am I really good at?
Hans Gruber: Animals?
Me: I’m really good at animals?
Hans Gruber: *nods*
Gretchen: You know how to draw them, maybe, is what he means?
Me: *whispering to Gretchen* You’re not part of this interview.
Jonathan: You’re good at a lot of things.
Me: Aww, thanks, “Jonathan”. Can you name one?
Jonathan: … I’m trying to think…
*2.5 minutes of silence*
Me: What bothers me the most?
Hans Gruber: Uhhh… Poppy?
Jonathan: This is hard…
Gretchen: Like, for example, what bothers me is mess. *gives me accusing side-eye*
Hans Gruber: *fart bubbles*
Hans Gruber: *laughing* Farts!
Gretchen: *trying to save interview, to Hans Gruber* Farts bother you?
Me: Ok this is the last question, so I want you to take it seriously. Where do you see me in 10 years?
Hans Gruber: On the car.
Me: ON the car?
Hans Gruber: Yeah.
Me: So... what am I doing on the car?
Hans Gruber: Playing.
Me: So in 10 years, you see me playing on top of the car?
Hans Gruber: Yeah. And dancing.
Jonathan: That is an impossible question.
Hans Gruber: *reconsidering answer, a knowing look on his face* On high school?
And so there you have it. I am so much more than a tired, cabin-fevered mother. I am rife with layers and dreams and potential.
I am grateful to my dear friends, Jonathan and Hans Gruber, for their candor. And for allowing me to conduct the interview during bathtime.
Stay cool, folks!
Heather Huybregts is a mother, physiotherapist, blogger, YouTuber and puffin whisperer from Corner Brook, N.L.