I am 49 years old today, and ready to retire, except that I don’t have a real job. Insert annoying LOL thing here.
Of course I have an occupation – ushering my little bugs through a forest fraught with predators, poison ivy and Nikki Minaj – but it’s not like I can quit doing it. I mean, I could, but then Hot Firefighter Husband would be all, WHAT! DON’T YOU LEAVE ME WITH THESE THREE KIDS, WOMAN. Actually, he never calls me WOMAN like that.
Being a mother is the most important job I’ll ever do, and that’s hard for me to remember, particularly this time of year. I’m all freaked out because I haven’t written for a week, and pissed because I can’t find a sub for my boxing class. And I’m having a furious back and forth with the rat man about my bucktoothed attic residents. KILL THEM ALREADY, DUDE!
So here comes the half-century mark, marching up my ass. What do I have to show for it?
I have the 11-year-old Diva who’s all freaky-outy about transitioning out of girlhood.
And the 8-year-old Pterodactyl, who should be hooked up to a constant I.V. drip of reassurance.
And the 6-year-old Tyrant, my fearless angel, the number three child who has never had a single thing to herself.
I’ve got them. They’re mine, like a yard that needs landscaping, a garden resplendent with its own idiosyncrasies and features that just needs some coaxing and shaping.
I’m just a woman, a solitary woman with good intentions and a penchant for the unconventional, and yet, if I’m good at what I do, three human beings will join the world’s forces for good in a few short years. I’d say that’s a job with good production rates.
It’s a position I’m fortunate to have, and yet one I take for granted in the proverbial quest for success.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, particularly since the Sandy Hook shootings. I told my Husband last night — if I encounter one more person telling others to “hug your children more tightly today,” I’m going to gag. I hug my children tightly every day. Usually I hug the Pterodactyl extra tight to make sure he doesn’t claw my eyes out.
What parents should be saying to each other is this: Do your job better. Roll your eyes less. Teach your kids more about Santa Claus and less about Black Friday, and go to bed at night with the confidence that you’ve done something important.
I’m not special, and it has taken me 49 years to understand that. Millions and millions of people are doing what I do, and lots of them are better at it than me. I’ve never made a cookie from scratch in my life, and personal hygiene is turning into an afterthought around here.
The Sandy Hook parents – and others like them around the world – will forever be special because of the job they can’t do. And there are mothers who can’t feed their children or send them to school or buy them cheap plastic toys from Target.
I’m 49 years old today, and to celebrate, I’m going to buy a new bra or four. And then I will remind myself that I am not special.
I’m just lucky. Really lucky, peeps.