Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Before I Was a Mom

I kept hearing that it’s Way Back Week on Facebook so here’s my Way Back picture. Senior picture 1988.

This morning was our once-a-month M.O.P.s meeting (Mothers of Preschoolers) and we were in for a surprise. When the Baby Booty Basket is passed around most of my friends shake their heads deliberately, left to right. No way. We’re done. We’re done and we’re glad we’re done. This time someone reached for it! Sinar is pregnant!

Some folks already knew; as she said about her husband, “Shawn spilled the bean!” It also sounded like Sinar wasn’t expecting to be expecting. Like maybe she was cool with just one. I know what it’s like to find yourself pregnant and not totally convinced it was what you wanted to be but I think this will be a great thing for her family and I’m excited to have a baby around to knit tiny socks for and to hold and hand back. This is the age and stage I find myself.

Once our meeting began we were handed forms to fill out asking questions about our years before kids. I’m trying to remember the exact questions:

1) What was your job?
2) What kind of car did you drive?
3) College degree?
4) Unusual trips or vacations?
5) Crazy purchases?

It got me thinking back. Way back. What DID I do before I had kids? I went to graduate school up until I became pregnant for the first time. I’ve been a high school English teacher and a nanny. I played roller hockey, stayed up late, slept in, shopped for myself, and had date nights several nights a week.

I drove a red Jeep Wrangler; Michael’s from his life before me. I remember driving across country to go to grad school in Cambridge and how the seats would in no way recline. I think Michael may regret selling it a few years back but he doesn’t talk much about it.

I graduated with a degree in Anthropology in 1992 and started a dual master’s program in Education and Administration at UMass/Boston. I never really did anything with any of that and it weighs on me a little. I guess I wish I’d studied something more practical. I probably wouldn’t have been so flippant about my course of studies if I’d had to pay for the degree myself.

No unusual trips aside from Spain and North Africa while I was in high school. I went backpacking in Colorado with Scott Phillips (remember him from Whitman?) when he returned from his travels abroad but no, that’s not particularly unusual or even interesting. I regret not doing and seeing more while I was young and had the opportunities. There were many trips to New York City (I’ve been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, 4th of July fireworks in the Meatpacking District, I went dancing with friends at Webster Hall the first week it reopened in 1992 and I’ve even been in Chuck Close’s apartment and saw the breathtaking art that graces his home—my best friend from kindergarten was his nanny) but again, I don’t think New York City counts as Unusual.

And crazy purchases? Regrettably, no.

Today we talked about the importance of keeping a balance between being Mom and being Me. I suppose I have some balance. I go out with my husband and friends and I’ve got my writing time. Still, there’s nothing like the feeling of being responsible for only you. No amount of balance is going to ever give me that kind of freedom. That ship has sailed. Still, the rewards of life with kids are varied and unmatched in any other area of life. They can’t be beat. That being said, there are still days when a girl gets a little nostalgic and dreams of times when she could rollerblade around M.I.T. at night and stay up till all hours watching “Quantum Leap” reruns for the first time. Or get up when she felt like it, play roller hockey in a Cambridge alley and pig out on Burger King $1 Whoppers with her husband without calling a babysitter or gaining a pound.

This afternoon Sam and Josh were watching “Jurassic Park” and discussing who they would be when they grow up. Sam said, “Dr. Grant” and Josh said, “Ana Jones” (Indiana Jones). A few seconds later Sam yelled to me in the kitchen, “Mom! Guess what I’m gonna be when I grow? 40!” So that’s it folks, I’m grown up. And I’m a Mom. I may have wanted to be several other things as well but I think I can safely say none of it would have been more of an adventure than this.

1 comment:

  1. I work really hard on keeping that balance. You're beautiful! That's a great shot.

    ReplyDelete

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