It's been really hard for me to write anything lately. I've been trying to jump to a few conclusions as to why this is so, instead just letting it be. It could be because the neighborhood dog begins his endless barking at 1pm sharp. Or it could be that I try to write during my dwindling nap time. It could be that I do not have ready access to a study carrel. It could be that I'm out of practice.
A while ago my neighbor called me on my cell phone, a number he obtained from another neighbor, during the middle of the day. I didn't recognize the number and I picked up the call. "Hi....are you home?" I wanted to say, "No sorry, I'm out and can't be bothered." But, I was home and the girls were napping. But I very well could have been out! "I need you to do a favor for me," he went on to say. Thinking I was going to save a withering tomato plant, I said sure, of course. I locked the girls in the house and proceeded to go next door, cell phone to ear, following his explicit instructions. Walk into the breezeway, find the hidden key, with that key unlock the door, get the other spare key, go back downstairs, put that spare key out, put the original spare key back in hiding spot. All of this so that the air conditioner repair man can repair the air conditioner without gaining knowledge as to the hiding place of the spare key. This is above and beyond, I thought to myself and I was happy to help. "Thanks," he said. Click. It was then that I started feeling a little crappy. And then it dawned on me and I stood mouth agape, brow furrowed. "I've been judged!" I said with the same velocity as someone would say, "I've been robbed!" Enter Steve Martin with a dopey voice saying, "Gee, do you think so?"
To him I was that stay-at-home mom who had nothing better to do than to make sure someone else's air conditioning was running full blast. To him I was that stay-at-home mom watching her soaps in the middle of the day and eating cookie dough batter. I was clearly over-reacting and clearly judging his motives at the same time. I said to myself, I'll totally get over this when I see him in person the next time and he thanks me profusely for my random act of kindness and when he goes on and on about how he can't believe he caught me at an okay time. Those things never happened of course. God knows I do my fair share of judging and I need to give the guy a break, for goodness sake. But, still. I was judged! As every person is again and again by people who don't understand, by people who do things slightly differently. By people who think the way they do things is the best way to do things. Myself included.
What is a judgement for if not to take stock of your life and the decisions you've made and decide if you want to change anything? I do this all the time. There are some moms who insinuate that you are betraying your children by sending them to preschool twelve hours a week. There are some people who look at you and your decision to be with your children during the day-time hours and secretly feel as if you are sending the wrong message to them and to the greater population of women. And there are others who find it easier to understand your role as a stay-at-home mom if you have a part-time job attached to it. It's a relief for them to hear that you at least do something on the side. It's also more comfortable for the mother because then you don't have to clarify that it isn't child-care you are passionate about, but your own children.
Any way you slice it, you are doing something wrong according to someone. This is hard for me because I like to be in agreement with all people at all times. Not sure what I should do about that.
The girls were great, exhausting company this past week. My little compadres. They have no choice but to go where I go. This is a great responsibility, many times a pain but it's also a lot of fun. I'm still surprised when I turn around in the car and see two people strapped in, waiting to go where I have us going. Following my sister's lead, we didn't rush out the door. I didn't realize that I did this until I stopped doing it and it was so nice! We laid low, ran errands, bought groceries, and had long lunches. They ran around naked in the backyard, jumping off of a lawn chair into a blue plastic pool and watching me laugh at them.
I also got a moment to paint. For a while now I've wanted this blog to have a header -something other than Times New Roman. It's hashtag nobigdeal, but like you want to envision your best self, sometimes, depending on the time of month, I have a vision for my blog as its best blog self. Right now it's not that. And maybe it never will be. But I have a vision, a vision that changes from mood to mood, but a vision at least.