• Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.


Yet Another Role Reversal

Son as an authority figure.


June 29, 2014

A wonderful improv center is sponsoring an improv marathon this week. It is a Huge Deal for the NYC improv community. The kickoff was last night, and I went with some friends to a "cage match," a graduated competition among teams. They were all terrific, and the event was a lot of fun.

Ben is volunteering at the marathon in exchange for a free pass (as well as an invitation to a party that Amy Pohler will attend, a fact that makes me so envious I have considered knocking him out and showing up on stilts, with fake facial hair). Last night as we peons stood outside, Ben texted periodic updates about the size of the house, the estimated waiting time to get in, and so on. When we were allowed in, he took our tickets and gave us our ballots, and later he collected our ballots for best team. I have often seen him onstage, where he is authoritative, but this was my first experience of him as an authority figure. He was impressive — calm, friendly and in control.

As we left, I stopped for a moment to chat with Ben. The house manager came up to find out if there was a problem. "No, he's my kid!" I told her, and was immediately embarrassed. That is the sort of thing my own mother would have said, and my 19-year-old self would have been mortified.

Out on the street, I texted him an apology, to which he responded, "Haha, no worries." "I just have to claim you," I told him, and he answered with a smile emoji.

Today, during work breaks, we are engaged in a text discussion of the various teams we saw last night. His comments are smart, insightful and fresh. I'm having great time, and look forward to comparing notes on the rest of the weekend's fare.

Yes, I definitely have to claim this kid.


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