When I graduated from grade school (it was a K-8 type establishment), I thought I was going to become a great feminist orator, taking down the patriarchy one impassioned Gloria Steinem speech at a time. When I graduated from high school, I thought I was going to become a great humanitarian, an eventual czarina of the American Red Cross, traveling the world on a campaign to suck the world of its healthy blood.
When I graduated from college, I thought I would move to Boston, drink a lot of martinis, work a mediocre job while applying to law school, and eventually become a great attorney, vanquishing injustice one power suit trip at a time.
When I graduated from graduate school, I thought I was really in a pickle because I would have loans and a kid and a mortgage and no time or no energy reserve to produce anything worthwhile for the next eight years.
And I have to say that pretty much none of these projections have really come true. There are letters next to my name that don't mean a lot. There are bills in my name that should mean more but don't. There are clips in my portfolio for which I nearly killed myself and for which I was paid a pittance. There are dozens of jobs on my resume that led me closer to more detours that led me closer to more doubt and self-loathing. Yet I wouldn't trade any of it for a smarter dossier, a shinier car, a more assured career path.
I want this life, this one that I never expected. This union with my best friend, my laughing partner, Saturday nights spent unloading Trader Joe's of all of its inventory. This urbane home of the dirty, cluttered, creaky floors and the neighbors who like to bang upstairs. This full-time job of motherhood where the overtime pay comes in chubby fingers reaching out to latch on to yours.
Not even 30 and my stock portfolio includes a closet full of lip gloss and an enviable supply of cloth diapers.
Happy Mother's Day to those who never expected to love the job as much as you do, and for all those who will join the force soon, I'm wishing you a blessed journey.
And to you, Newbie 'Nother Baby: We're keeping a "wook-out" for you....
P.S. Here's a Mum's Day-ish column I wrote. Enjoy.