Inner child meets the Outer Mom


It turns out that I am an idiot.

I had no idea. In fact, I was humming along clam-happy in my (mistaken) belief that I was a pretty smart cookie. A sharp tack indeed.

Nonetheless the proof of my utter, undeniable stupidity is there for all to see. It comes to light the very moment I relate how it happened that I dropped my beloved camera into a sink full of hot, soapy water.

I am a parent. A role model. I am supposed to be someone who is presumably modeling responsible, smart behavior for the youth of America. Particularly the two “youth” who live with me.

OK, here’s my story

Sadly, it turns out I am not doing so well with that. This is one of those stories that from the onset goes horribly wrong.

See if you can find what is wrong with this picture: “So my camera was stored where it always is, on the shelf above the kitchen sink … ”

Omitting the boring and all too incriminating details, it just goes downhill (downsink?) from there.
One moment I am wiping that shelf and the next I am pulling my beloved digital camera from the depths of sink full of suds. For the record: cameras do not like that. At all. They will, in fact, just up and die.

To add to the “how does she even manage to be walking around upright?” mystery of it all, the camera was actually plugged into an electrical charger at the time it took the plunge.


When it went under, I instinctively and without regard for common sense, personal safety, or the laws of electricity and water not playing well together and reached into the water and pulled it out! It’s a wonder I wasn’t electrocuted. I am the statistic your mother warned you about.

The majority of all freak accidents do happen in the home. Particularly if you happen to live with me. How can I lecture my children about responsibility, taking care of their possessions, and basic household safety if I myself am unable to achieve such lofty aspirations? Not to mention that I can’t have anything nice.


Rather than just buying a new camera and getting on with my life I, the classic over-thinker, have turned my want/need of a camera into an epic battle between the outer mother that I am, and my inner child who wants what she wants when she wants it.

My inner child knows exactly the kind of camera I want (better than my old one, but less waterlogged). I could go hog-wild in a camera store and really do some damage to our bank balance.

I take a lot of photos. I document our family. I’m worth it. Yet, my Outer Mother keeps blathering on in my head. It’s some nonsense about “setting a good example” (which, by the way is a lot of hard work and not always a whole barrel of fun).

Thus, I’m leaning toward severely restricting what I allow myself to purchase on the theory that I must demonstrate to the children that one should not be rewarded for careless behavior.

It is my life

My camera is like an extension of myself. My motto has long been that if I don’t have a picture of it — it didn’t happen. Contemplating life without a camera, I felt kind of sick. Light-headed. Actual head between the knees, breathe deeply, stay calm sort of sick.

Nice, normal people would probably just get a camera “someday.” For me, this is akin to saying you’ll have oxygen again “someday.” I will need a new camera posthaste.

I just feel like I’m sort of duty-bound to be a bit of a martyr about it. Thus having worked through the five stages of grief in near-record time, I’m off to some fluorescent nightmare of a store where I will throw myself on the mercy of a teenaged “sales associate” who will put me back in fine photographic form.

Of course, if I’m truly on the path to being a pathetic excuse for a role model, a nice little upgrade to a more tricked out model with a better lens might do the trick. Or not.

Somehow I suspect that if I reward myself for my own careless behavior — while knowing my kids will see me do it — my conscience will have me in hot water as well.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt settled for a replacement model. She welcomes comments c/o P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; e-mail; or


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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