Yesterday, my daughter informed me that now that she’s a working mother with teens at home, she finally “gets” me. When I think back to those days long ago when I was in her shoes, I wonder how I did it. I picked up my 1986 journal and look what I found:
Arrive home from work. Empty a load of laundry into the machine, collect the mail, organize the bills, pick up one child from piano lessons, and drop off the other at baseball practice. Leave the oldest listening to “music” while supposedly doing his homework. Throw laundry in the dryer, preheat the oven, remember that the dinner you froze for use tonight was actually eaten three days ago. Forget to turn off the oven. Hop in the car. Drive to the Wawa for cold cuts and bread. Buy a large coffee. Spill it down the front of your new silk blouse. Arrive home and note the silence that announces the dryer cycle has ended and the “permanent press” garments now need ironing. Consider buying new wardrobes for everyone. Gee, it’s hot in the kitchen. Fetch youngest child from baseball practice. Set out cold cuts, bread, slice a tomato or two, think about opening a can of soup. Decide against it. It’s too hot in the kitchen. Turn on the air conditioning, even though it’s only May. Call everyone in to eat.
“Is this all we’re having?”
“Mom, you know I don’t like turkey.”
“My teacher says we’re supposed to eat five fruits and vegetables a day. Is tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Anyway, it isn’t five.”
Fantasize about hiring a chef and a nanny. No, wait, fantasize about being abducted by aliens and taken to a remote planet—someplace that looks like Bermuda and where the ideal of beauty is cellulite, stretch marks, and bags under the eyes. Skip the sandwich and dive into a 36-oz. bag of tortilla chips instead. Salsa counts as multiple fruits and vegetables. Right?