31 Moments of Motherhood

Scene 31: The Choice…Revisited…

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up, revealing a woman wearing black pants, bare feet, and a dressy tank top, covered with a hoodie. A leather briefcase, suit jacket, and a pair of high heels sit on the floor next to her.]

Me

“It has been eight years since I worked full time. [Picks up leather briefcase and starts to unpack a variety of kid-related items.] My briefcase has been part of our dress-up collection for some time, and my work shoes? [Picks up shoes and blows a layer of dust off of them] They have been gathering dust in the back of my closet. As a matter of fact, they might not be in style anymore.

[Shrugs, and slides them on.]

“Everyone takes a different path, but I never could have imagined how the first several years of my mothering turned out. It has been the most challenging, but rewarding time of my life so far.”

[Takes off hoodie and puts on suit jacket.]

Me

“I never thought I would want to stop working, and now I’m finding it difficult to stomach the idea of going back.”

[Pulls piece of paper out of briefcase and steps forward into an “interview”.]

Me

“Why yes, I am very interested in the position.”

[pause, listening and nodding head]

Me

“My goals? I am committed to actively contributing to the success of an organization, increasing in responsibility over time. It is very important to me that I have opportunities to grow personally and professionally, so that I can better meet…”

[Stops abruptly.]

“Wait. Let me try that again. It is very important to me that I contribute to the success of an organization, while maintaining the ability to care for my family. Flexibility is essential.”

[Breaks stance, puts paper inside briefcase and sets it down before walking to the front of the stage, talking to audience]

Me

“Of course, what they might not realize is that being a mother makes me a better employee. I am more empathetic, disciplined, and able to multi-task like no one’s business. Being successful is still important to me, but the definition of success means so much more to me now than a title on a nameplate. Being successful has as much to do with how present I am with my kids while we are having an impromptu dance party or being able to watch them take their own tentative steps into independence.”

“I don’t know what the next stage of my life will look like, but I do know this…”

[A new spotlight emerges, lighting up a safe with a padlock. She picks up a few toys and walks over to the safe. She pauses, and instead of putting the toys inside, she closes the safe door and tucks the toys inside her briefcase. Patting it, she smiles, and starts to walk offstage.]

[Lights down]

Scene 30: The Not-So-Empty Hands

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman sitting in a rocking glider with a small side table, her hands forming the shape of rocking a baby.]

Me

“When my kids were babies, they needed me constantly. I held them so much that if someone else took them for a few minutes, I started to feel awkward and empty. What do you do with your hands when they aren’t holding a baby?”

[Picks up glue and glitter from side table.]

Me

“Then my kids started to crawl…then walk…then run…but my hands were still full. Playing games, making crafts, getting snacks, coming up with activities, and being the best playmate ever.”

[Standing up, holding out empty hands.]

Me

“Then something happened. My kids started dreaming up plays where I didn’t make the cast list. They read bedtime stories all by themselves, leaving just enough time to give me a quick goodnight hug. My oldest started to say things like, ‘Mom, you just don’t understand me’, and then she would dash off to her room crying. Over long weekends, my kids whined because they missed their school friends.”

“All of a sudden, I can see them tiptoeing to a place  where they don’t need me every second,  a place I longed for back when they were babies attached to my hip 12 hours a day.”

“I felt so empty.”

[Demonstrates each action as it is spoken.]

Me

“But then I realized…

…while I can’t carry my son around anymore, I can still stroke his head before he falls asleep.

…and while I don’t have to read to my daughter every night, I can still point out what are positive books for her to read.

…and I will always be right there to catch them when they trip on the challenges of life.”

And I can daily lift my hands in prayer for each of them. That I can do.”

[Looks down at her hands.]

 “Not empty. Not by a long shot.”

[Lights down.]

Scene 29: The Homemade Birthday Cake

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman holding a Family Fun magazine. A small table sits next to her, an object covered by a large cloth napkin on top of it.]

Me

“Every month, I get a pile of parenting magazines in the mail. They are bright and beautiful and they make everything look so easy.”

[Flipping through the pages.]

Me

“Here is a step by step tutorial on how to make cute forest critters out of twigs, buttons, and tempera paint. Looks easy enough…if you have an art degree and industrial strength glue.”

“And here’s a simple recipe for an after-school snack that looks like a fairy garden on a plate.”

“But the issue that always traps me is the birthday party issue. They make the cakes look so beautiful and so easy and then I show them to my kids, and they love them too, and then all of a sudden, I’m up until midnight the night before their birthday trying to recreate what probably took days for some food stylist to make.”

[Lifting cloth off table to reveal a cake that somewhat resembles a castle.]

Me

“Take this masterpiece. I bought the design hook, line, and sinker, and set out to formulate the perfect castle creation. I bought  piles of candy, baked my layer cakes, smoothed on a thick layer of frosting, and loaded on the decorations. But then, I stepped back…and realized that my castle looked like it was sliding into a sinkhole.”

[Eyes cake warily.]

Me

“I went to bed with a stiff back and a bruised ego, and as I lay in bed, I began to question my sanity. If I was honest with myself, my daughter wasn’t going to love my cake any more because I stayed up until midnight to make it. She would have been just as happy with a Barbie cake from the grocery store. In fact, I was probably worse off because if it, judging by my aches and pains.”

“Sometimes I think that doing things “the hard way” make it better when mostly it just makes it more stressful. And? No one cares…except me.”

[Gently covers the cake back up with the cloth.]

“So, I’m trying to retire. No more ridiculous cakes. I promise.”

“Just keep the birthday party issue away from me.”

[Lights down.]

Scene 28: The Glitter Explosion

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a small craft table with a bottle of glue, construction paper, and a half-empty container of glitter on it, most of it spilled out on the table. A woman walks on stage, sees the mess, sighs, and heads over to table to clean up.]

Me

“My kids love glitter. Maybe all kids love glitter? Personally, I detest it.”

“Our glitter adventures usually go down like this…the kids smear big gobs of glue on their construction paper (completely ignoring the lovely rhyme, ‘A dot is a lot, a squiggle is a little, and a lake is a mistake.’) Then, they pour out enough glitter to cover five sheets of paper, shake it off in pink clouds, squeal in delight, and then it has to sit for two days to dry. Then, the clean-up crew has to come in and try to mop up the glitter off the table, floor, kids hair, and every other nook and cranny in a one mile radius.”

[Tipping the excess glitter back into the container as she talks.]

Me

“You might ask me, ‘Why do you keep glitter in the house, if you despise it so much?'”

“Good question.”

[Picks up the glittered picture and sits down on the edge of the table.]

“When my oldest daughter was really little, I confess, I micro-managed her crafting adventures. Glue here…sticker here…and we’re done. But as I watched what she wanted to do, it was much more organic. She wanted to cut pieces of paper into shreds, she wanted to glue stacks of hearts together, and she wanted to use…glitter.”

“And she had a lot more fun when I wasn’t hovering over her every move, wiping and directing and smothering her creativity. So…”

[Stands up and steps back away from the table.]

Me

“I stepped back. Learned to let go of a neat and tidy craft area. Found a perfect spot for an ever-growing pile of kid creations. Bought some containers of glitter.”

“It’s messier…but thankfully, everything looks better when it is sprinkled with glitter.”

[Tosses some glitter up into the air. Lights down.]

Scene 27: The Superhero

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 2 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on an empty stage. A woman runs across the stage, carrying a green necklace, then runs back the other direction, carrying a library book. She runs back on stage again, stopping at center stage to catch her breath. She is wearing street clothes, other than the red silk cape around her neck, with an emblazoned “M” on it.]

Me

[Breathing hard.] “Whew! I think I need to catch my breath!”

Me

“I am on ‘superhero duty’ today, if you couldn’t tell by my fabulous cape.”

[Listens.]

Me

“What’s superhero duty? Well, as you know, all moms are superheroes, and some days…most days…we are called into action to help save the day for our kids.”

“Today, that meant dashing back up to school to bring my daughter a green necklace on St. Patrick’s Day, so that she wouldn’t get pinched. And running her library book up to her so that she could check out a new one.”

[Strikes a superhero pose.]

Me

“We are the super heroes who operate mostly in the shadows. We make birthday treats until midnight and track down missing blankies before bedtime. We painstakingly create sheep costumes for the school Christmas program and track down just the right teacher gifts. We make lunches and fill out school paperwork and drive back and forth to dance class and birthday parties and soccer practice. We are the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed, and there are always clothes to fold and toilets to clean. We survive on caffeine and social media, and we have to act like we have eight hands and six feet and eyes in the back of our heads.”

[Dropping out of the pose.]

Me

“But then sometimes our kids notice us, and we are able to step out of the shadowy darkness. Usually when we least expect it…in the middle of a car ride or during a family dinner, they bring up a story…’Remember when you ran into the library with your running clothes on so that I could have my library book? Or when you brought me that green necklace so that I wouldn’t get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day? You saved the day, Mom.'”

[Pointing at the audience.]

Me

“You don’t become a super hero for the accolades, but that is straight up super hero fuel…injected right into the heart.”

[Hears something offstage.]

Me

“Duty calls.”

[Grins…and runs offstage. Lights down.]

Scene 26: The First Day

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.

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[Lights come up on a woman standing holding a pair of sunglasses and a camera.]

Me

[Yelling offstage] “Come on sweetie, I want to get to school early so we can take a few pictures!”

[Walks toward audience.]

Me

“It’s the first day of school, and I don’t quite know how to feel. It is difficult to be strong enough to admit that your kids need something that you can’t give them. That they need the socialization of a classroom environment. That they can flourish under the tutelage of talented people that aren’t you.”

Me

“But the day comes, with squeaky new shoes and crisp back-to-school haircuts, and all you can do is swallow hard, take a few snapshots, and wave a happy goodbye as they walk into school.”

[Looks towards stage right.]

Me

“Ready to go?”

[Puts sunglasses on.]

Me

[Aside, to the audience] “To hide the tears welling up in my eyes, of course. At least until I get back to the car and accidentally open the sliding door for a kid who isn’t there to jump in. That’s when the real tears will come.”

“It’s show time.”

[Strikes a happy pose and heads to stage right, offstage. Lights down.]

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