Thursday, July 13, 2006

Heart Health

I have a family history of heart disease, so I try to do all the things the experts say I should do to protect my heart - watch my weight, exercise, eat carboard disguised as breakfast cereal.

But I swear I nearly experienced cardiac arrest today when my eleven year old son announced that he'd had the "most awesomest dream ever." I admit I was only half listening, expecting to hear some tale about winning a quadrillion-piece Lego model of the Hockey Hall of Fame, or about a skateboard equipped with a soft drink dispenser and XBox, or about winning the NBA championship as the star player on a team of muskrats. So you can imagine my shock when he said, "I dreamed I was kissing this cute girl I saw at the pool yesterday."

I was cool, calm, and collected on the outside, but on the inside my head was exploding in sirens and flashing lights and I was silently screaming, "WHAT?!?! Aren't you the child who vowed to marry me when you grew up? Why didn't I take advantage of your youthful ignorance and make you sign a contract when you were two, promising to ignore girls until you were thirty?"

Having four hormonal kids is either going to kill me or make me stronger. My soon-to-be-thirteen year old daughter is writing romance novels, when she's not in the tearful throes of martyrdom. I hear my other daughter and her boyfriend calling each other "sweetheart" and I swear I can feel my liver quiver. My teenage son draws the attention of females of all ages with his 2-inch long eyelashes and I feel my muscles twitching, aching to beat those girls back with a stick.

Well, I least I have a comeback when my doctor suggests I undergo a stress test to check the status of my heart. I can say, "Stress test? I don't need no stinkin' stress test. I've raised four kids through puberty, all at the same time. Let's talk about spending my health care dollars on things that really matter, like how to cure sagging body parts and double chins and wrinkles and adipose cells that multiply like rabbits. Because I have to look good in my kids' wedding pictures, and it's looking like I don't have time to waste!"

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