Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Working Mom

My son has decided he likes to cook - which is so much better than spending hours in front of computer games or the t.v. So, yay for an interest in cooking. Unfortunately, I don't want to bake cookies, blend smoothies and make chex mix when I get home from work. Every single night. My son knows he has to clean up after himself, but I can assure you that an 8 years old's definition of a clean kitchen does not even come close to meeting something that would pass a health code inspection. And, and, his after school care teachers are frustrated with him because he makes crappy crafts at school and then tries to sell them (oh the horror) to parents when they are picking up their kids. As soon as we get home he wants to play some game he has made up with string and paper clips. I have tried to look busy for 8 hours in front of a computer so you would think I would welcome some interaction but the last thing I can handle is walking into school, seeing my son begging other parents for money, and then being asked if I want to play a game with string. I am not a good parent. I do not want to play a game with string not even for one minute.

So, yesterday, after a rejection letter, nobody signing up for my seminar, my kitchen a disaster, finding out that my son's spag-os with meatballs had leaked all over his backpack, and explaining to him that we do not try to sell string to other people's parents, all I could manage to do was to sit on the kitchen floor and cry.

Today I was at the dentist. A woman walked in with her child that looked to be about the age of my son. This young boy was blind and, by the sounds he was making, also deaf. I noticed when he stood up that he was wearing a diaper. The boy is bobbing his head back and forth and grunting so loudly that everyone in the waiting room is forced to notice. The mother moves with patience and grace. Everyone in the waiting room seems uncomfortable to some degree with this boy and his strange movements and loud grunts, but the mom is not. This is her son. This is her life. I wonder if the boy will be scared to feel the dentist's hands in his mouth, not being able to see or hear what is going on. Then again, this boy is probably use to not knowing when someone is going to touch him or what is going on around him.

The mother is explaining to the lady at the front desk that her employer has stopped carrying dental insurance, so she is going to have to pay outright for this appointment. She is also saying how she might have to quit her job because they can no longer afford their son's nurse. The mom is explaining, however, that she really needs her job as a break from her son, whose care needs are persistent throughout the evening and night.

I realize that this woman and I were probably pregnant at the same time. She probably had the same dreams I did when I was pregnant about whether her child would become an artist or a doctor or lawyer. She probably thought about his first days of school, his first girlfriend, his soccer games. Like me, she probably eagerly anticipated the first time her son would say "mommy" and "I love you." But through no fault of her own, through nothing she ever did, all of those dreams were taken away from her.

Right now my son is with his father, and I will not see him until Sunday. I want nothing more than to hold him and tell him I love him. And he will say, because he always does, "I love you too."

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