On Saturday night, someone told me that she wanted to be me for a day.
I laughed. I said ‘thank you.’
I imagined this friend running around my house like an over-caffeinated chicken with its head cut-off. I laughed again for a different reason.
Wouldn’t it be great to walk in someone else’s shoes for a day? Yes, you can read what I write, but I can only give you a small slice of my day. If I had that much time to write, I would have nothing to write about. Even so, my high school friend recently told me that, after reading my work, she felt assured that I haven’t changed.
She knows me well enough to not want to be me for a day, but only our children see anything close to the whole picture.
What does my day look like? I am just a mom. The details would bore you.
In the past few weeks, my agenda for next year has congealed into a thick and sticky plan. Without considering my writing on line, I have accepted four very different hats to wear. I should mention that I have rejected two others formally, and ducked and dodged other such responsibilities. Each year I hope to hang a few more hats on the hook, and each year I am thrown a few new ones, greater challenges, bigger honors, something new.
Swept away in the tide of possibilities and challenges to overcome, I don a few hats.
I comfort myself by knowing that I am a better person when I am engaged. The power to improve my world, even by the nose-nudge of a puppy, propels me forward. I imagine that by my example of achievements my children will thus achieve. As I strive to see the world through their eyes, the world they know best now is the one I bring to our doorstep.
And, then, I remember Ted. Once again I am humbled.
The other day, Gladys’ preschool asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. On the paper I read: “When Gladys grows up, she wants to be a mom.”
At first I felt a little sadness well up in me. Life presents so many opportunities, and my daughter aspires to be a mom. If she had been in the room when I read the paper, I might have said something like:
“Dear, you know, you don’t have to be just a mom. You can be a mom and something else too.”
I am glad she wasn’t in the room. She knows that I used to get paid. She knows that women can do whatever they want (and should do it without hesitation). She knows what I do all day now. She even knows why I go to meetings, and how I try to make a positive impact on the world.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot to tell her that she shouldn’t be proud of being a mother. I probably even forgot to mention that it isn’t considered the most important job in the world. She probably doesn’t know that.
She sees more than a small slice of my life. I am her definition of ‘just a mom.’ I guess she wants to be like me for a day too, or maybe even longer.
Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed so easily.