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Talisman: noun 1. an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.

Ever since I was a little girl, my mother would “arm” me with talismans; for bravery, for courage, for comfort, for safety. Our talismans could take any number of forms, a tiny doll slipped into my pocket, a piece of jewellery, a hair clasp, a really great lipstick, a handkerchief spritzed with her signature perfume, no rhyme or reason, just the knowledge that as long as I carried or wore the talisman, that I would be okay. I would get through whatever challenge I was facing and more importantly, I would know that part of her was there with me, encouraging me, keeping me safe.

I still have many of these items, and the collection has grown. I wear or carry one or more with me when I’m about to do something that is outside my comfort zone or confront a difficult situation.

My mother gave me this tiny doll to keep in my pocket during my first “big” choir performance in elementary school. We were performing downtown Toronto, in front of strangers, not our peers and parents.

This morning I needed to speak with a VP at one of my children’s schools about an incident that occurred at the end of the day yesterday in which one of my children was injured. Without getting into the details, a) my child will be okay b) the considerable restraint I have shown over the past twelve hours is further proof that anyone of us can actually become an adult under the right circumstances and c) I did meet with the VP for approximately 30 minutes, in-person, and he was very good about everything and I am hopeful that my confidence in him to handle the situation appropriately is not misplaced. 

But, back to the talisman. This morning, I armed myself with this necklace, which was previously worn by my late grandmother, Norma Hall Eadie Hurst, for as long as I knew her. The necklace says “Outrageous”, Norma’s very public display of her pride in and support of my father, Craig Russell, and his first feature film, “Outrageous!”. I wear this necklace whenever I need to be reminded from where I came, of the brilliant and courageous people who made me, raised me and who remain here with me, even when they are not.

Gold necklace inscribed with the word "Outrageous"

And, as much as I believe in my talisman usage, as extra insurance, I also wore mascara today because I couldn’t fully trust myself not to cry (out of rage, anger, frustration or heartbreak). I could trust though, the innate knowledge of myself that I would rather have my leg gnawed off by an unwashed rabid bear than I would leave that school looking like a puffy-eyed trash panda. 

Spoiler alert: It worked. Dry-eyed, head held high, composed and confident, I walked out of that school knowing that I had represented myself, my child and my family with dignity, respect and a controlled coherence that I most definitely did not possess six hours earlier while I lay in bed silently raging and plotting my revenge against those little assholes.

This is not me bragging though, because it would seem those 30 minutes were the outer limit of my ability to adult. I am just grateful that I managed to adult long enough to get back to my vehicle. After all, it is the second last day of school and I am fairly certain having their mother meltdown in the school office would not be the way they wanted to be remembered by their peers all summer. Dodged that mum-fail bullet, and I’m taking that win, thankyouverymuch.

I am also grateful that I can relax and revert to thinking of and dreaming up all if the ways I could make those reprobates regret ever even dreaming of messing one of my children. I mean, these are baby Badgers, we’re talking about. All that time kids spend on YouTube and none of these wannabe tough guys have ever heard of Honey Badger? (NSFW disclaimer on this link) I can attest that she really will make a mess when a mess needs to be made (and sometimes just because she fucking wants to, but that’s a different story for another day). I mean, obviously I am all about the talismans but there isn’t a talisman in the world that will keep one safe from the wrath of a mama in protection mode. 

How do you know when you have a healthy relationship with anger and when it’s a problem and you need to take up meditation and yoga? Asking for a friend. Ugh, no, wait. It’s me. I’m the friend. Damn, I really wish sometimes I could tell a lie without screwing it up.

4 thoughts on “How I Prepare to do Adult-Adulting, not just the Usual Adulting.”
  1. Allison, once again I’m grinning from ear to ear as you’ve made the trials and tribulations of my day seem waaaaay so unimportant. I have the graphic picture in my head of your VP meeting. Here’s to Talismans + Mascara! Congrats all around on your ‘win’! Cheers! ~deb

    1. You’re too sweet, thank you, Deb!
      Hope you’re surviving all of this heat and humidity we’re being smothered under this week!

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