Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Little Life to Live

It's 9 o'clock in the morning.

A lot of people are in meetings or at their desks or...still sitting in traffic. 

Normally, I'd be teaching my second pre-algebra class of the day.  But I'm not.  And I won't be.  I'm adjusting to working life in a new place: our home.

I'm in my office (the kitchen), just starting to fix tonight's dinner.  It's amazing how much foresight a woman has to have when it comes to meal preparation.  I'm not even hungry and yet I have to predict that we probably will be--and hopefully for this specific meal--10 hours from now.

It's a big recipe that I'm making, the kind that has about 14 steps and lots of wait-time between them.  I could never serve this kind of meal if I were a working woman.  How some women can do both outside work and manage a home life simply amazes me.  But women always rise to the occasion and do what they have to do, given the circumstances.  It's amazing.

Yes, women amaze me.  I'm so fortunate to be one.  They birth out babies.  They're up at all hours of the night, nursing their crying cherubs.  They're on their knees, cleaning floors.  They're clipping coupons, running errands, and cooking meals.  And they're always ready to love their husbands.

It's a hidden life without much glory.  No one cares (or wonders) if you're intelligent.  It's hard work without any of the fanfare.  It's doing the right thing when no one's watching.  It's a career without a salary.  It's being a wife and mother.  It's putting your family before yourself.

I used to work for the money.  Now I work because I love.  Before, I was motivated by a student's "Ah ha!" moment or a good annual review or an increased salary.  Now my reward is that brief moment where Michael closes his eyes and savors the first bite of supper silently and then opens his eyes to tell me that it tastes amazing, even if it's really just ordinary.  Or it's that moment where he walks in the door and looks so glad to finally be home and see me.

I'll miss buying new clothes for work and getting to accessorize with new jewelry.  I'll miss the new school supplies and having the excuse to buy a new leather handbag in which to tote my laptop.  I'll miss those inside jokes with colleagues, the nice lunch ladies in the cafeteria, and the revealing conversations at the copy machine.  I'll miss it all, frankly.

But would I trade it all for this?  Yes.  A thousand times, yes.