Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The sad, sad view from my 'burban
Some weeks we have the hammock, the sandbox, the garden, the bookshelves and trips to the library or lake. These are the weeks when breathing is deep enough to fill my lungs and my brainwaves are blissfully uninterrupted by static.
Other weeks we live in the Suburban. I drop the kids at my friend Marian's house. They wave from her picture window. I negotiate real estate and administrate personnel and payroll issues and try to remember to buy toilet paper and then I pick the girls up. It sometimes seems like they never left that window because they're usually there, hopping up and down and requesting dinner, when I pull in six hours later.
On those weeks I hope to decompress in the 20-minute drive from my office(s) to Marian's house. Sometimes on Fridays it's not Marian but Grandpa who has the girls. Then I don't have to be concerned with being "on" for them, because they don't even bother to climb out of the swimming pool when I drive up.
I have always thought of myself as a stay-at-home mom. I garden, bake, sew and do laundry like a homebody. And yet I've always worked outside the home. When Madeleine and Sarah were still small, I was an editor with wonderful privileges to work from home as much as I liked. To bring the babies in to my office as much as I liked. Or didn't. So I thought, in my own way, that I was prioritizing things and I was still a mom first. Even when Madeleine could identify non-parallel sentence structures at 3 years old, I never thought of myself as a working mom.
And I know this is a loaded topic.
Of course. But all I can think about today is the sad view from my Suburban seat.
Edited to add:
I know I know this is whining and ridiculous. How lucky am I to have a trusted friend who can handle all four of my kids along with her three? How lucky am I to have a career (or three) in this economy? I just needed a minute to mourn my other life as Ma Ingalls. That's all.