By Sue-Ellen Sanders
"There's a mom who lives a life of danger.
To everyone she meets she seems much stranger.
With every move she makes, another chance she takes
Odds are she won't get much sleep tomorrow.
Secret agent mom, secret agent mom
They've given you a title and taken away your name."
(Sung to the tune of "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers)
It started while we were sitting around the dinner table. I was talking about being ready to go back to a full-time job, and our family was brainstorming about what kind of job I'd be good at.
Since my college degree is in journalism and communications and my past professional career has been a combination of nonprofit management, promotions and public relations, radio and newspaper, that makes me qualified for everything - or nothing.
"Mom, I think you would be a great secret agent," said my son, who has been watching a lot of reruns of the television show "Monk" about a private detective who is obsessive compulsive.
"You're in good shape, so you could do all the running around," he continued. "And no one would ever suspect you, because you're a stay-at-home mom with a husband and two children. It's the perfect undercover ruse."
By the time I was washing the dinner dishes, I was humming the old Johnny River's tune, "Secret Agent Man," which I had adapted slightly. I could be a secret agent. I already have many of the skills I need to be successful.
For example, I am fairly physically fit for a woman of my age. If I have to chase a suspect, they would have to give me a minute or two to stretch, however, or I might end up limping along with a pulled muscle. Or I could just get a souped-up fancy secret agent car, maybe a cute Mustang convertible. Not a stick shift though, because I can't drive a stick.
I could be a quick- change artist and a master of disguise, because I already have a closet full of character wear, from the different sizes and stages of my life. From suits to diva dress-up, workout wear to blue jeans, I could be a chameleon. I might have to buy some new shoes, though, because I noticed when the president's wife visited the Treasure Coast, her undercover women wore high heels. I assume the shoes double as weapons; although I would think they would hinder my running ability a bit.
I would be super on a stakeout, just give me a novel, a six-pack of Diet Coke and some peanut M & Ms and I'm good to go. I could sit outside the suspect's house for hours, savoring the peace and quiet.
If the bad guys saw me, they would never be suspicious when they saw the "Soccer Mom" and "Proud Parent of an Honor Roll Student" stickers on my car.
I don't have any real experience with weapons, but I am expert at cutting people down to size with words, and my children will attest to my ability to raise my voice. Plus, I'm not scared of much, other than snakes and heights, so unless I had to jump off a fifth-floor balcony or wrestle a boa constrictor, I think I would be pretty brave.
After all, I'm a mom. I already have to solve world peace, negotiate surrender, mete out punishment, drive like a maniac to get to an out-of-town soccer game, and decipher adolescent-speak and hidden meanings 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Being a secret agent would be easy.
Sue-Ellen Sanders writes about family issues every week in the Hometown News. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.