Summer is nearing its close, it’s back to school and this year I was ready! Instead of spending my two weeks of vacation sipping very expensive cocktails at a five star hotel on the French Riviera wearing a wonderful broad brimmed hat and behind large Jackie O sunglasses (so blasé), I decided to be a mature adult and tackle all sorts of important tasks around the house. OK fine, it’s not really a choice if the Riviera isn’t a real option. Anyway, as part of the “staycation” I filled my time with some much needed home renovation (and people renovation) projects: from basic gardening to full landscaping, (root) touch ups, school supplies, new wardrobes, replacing burnt light bulbs, manicures after replacing burnt light bulbs, and so on and so forth.
Although I am a renaissance woman, and wholly capable of being a quick study in just about anything, there are some things in which I am not meant to dabble. For example, after a particularly raucous night out with Mr. Niceguy a few years ago which included an open bar tab and hopping from one club to the other, we arrived home in the early morning hours, starving. After placing an order for chi-thai delivery, Mr. Niceguy mentioned that his hair was getting too long. I mentioned that cutting hair was right up my alley and that I’ve often trimmed my own hair – front and back. Note here, I have fairly long hair which is naturally curly so any slight discrepancies usually blend well. Note also, that I normally don’t handle scissors while drunk. What I did to the back of Mr. Niceguy’s head was unforgivable. And the sad part was, I just kept trying to fix it. Some things are much better left to the professionals! (Don’t drink and trim!) So, I started the process of engaging some professional help for some of my home projects.
What I found was that despite fairly lengthy (and though I do say so myself, well informed and knowledgeable) discussions with these professionals I was consistently asked, “Will your husband be there?”
What. The. #$%^?!!!!???? WHY???
In this day and age, do people STILL believe that the woman of the house is still just the “little lady”? That seems so utterly out of date and backwards. Let’s just be clear about something here: I am a career woman. I earn a salary. And a global professional services firm happens to believe that I am highly capable of raising millions of dollars in financing. I may wear sky high heels, pretty dresses, hoop earrings and although on most days the quality of my day directly correlates with how good my hair looks I AM STILL HIGHLY CAPABLE OF MAKING DECISIONS, thank you very much.
I mean, I can represent! I can whip on some boots and dig up a lawn. I can wield a brush and paint. I’ve hung chandeliers and constructed closets. I’ve also gone from work to banquet to soccer field to brunch without missing a beat. I haven’t let my family down – I’ve represented. And I’ve made them proud…and that’s what I’m now teaching my boys. They need to be self-actualizing adults. Strong, independent, able to make decisions and see them through. And they need to demonstrate their capabilities. Though at this age, sometimes I’m not sure they really get the message…
About two-and-a-half years ago, I was in a pretty serious accident. My two boys, then four-and-a-half and just 9 months old, were sitting in the backseat while I was driving. As a treat, I decided I would take them both on a surprise trip to Toys R Us and en route, I would go through the Tim’s drivethru for a much needed coffee and a Timbit (yes, one Timbit – it’s my way of demonstrating self-control). It was an unusually frigid winter day (I believe close to minus 60 with the wind chill!) and the traffic lights were not working so cars were treating the intersection as a four-way stop. My turn came to drive through when out of nowhere we were struck by a car. We spun out of control and I momentarily blacked out. It was my older son’s screaming that snapped me back and all I remember thinking was, please let them be safe. Luckily we all walked away. I didn’t realize it then, as it took about 11 more months to transpire, but I had sustained a crushed disc which resulted in severe sciatica. After visiting a number of different doctors and professionals I found myself face-to-face with one of the most capable and incredible chiropractor-acupuncturists (in the world!!!), Dr. S.
And just this past week, Dr. S paid me a house call. She is extremely elegant, capable and professional and I can only imagine what she thought when she walked into my world…
Both the 7 year old and 3 year old were completely entranced. They loved her portable treatment table which they used as trampoline, diving board and fort all while she graciously watched and I begged for the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Then they proceeded to tell Dr. S about the dead chipmunk we had found in the yard and disposed of moments before her arrival, “He has no eyes. He has no head. He’s dead. Mommy put him in the garbage.” Nice. And showed her a picture of our dearly departed cat, “This is Hudson. He’s our cat. He’s dead. He’s really dead. He’s in here (showing her the little urn given to us by the animal hospital). But you can’t drink from this cup. Coz he’s in here. He’s really in here.” OMG! And what could I do with needles up and down my spine?! Then, the 7 year old brought my gluten-free, organic loving Dr. S a plate full of marshmallows and gummies to thank her for all her hard work and because she must be hungry. Oh boy.
I wished I could crawl under Dr. S’s treatment table…needles and all. But then I remembered a little girl, age 8, who would walk around with grace and kindness because she had secret powers: she knew that she was a mermaid in water, and mermaids always took care of everyone, and that she could fly if she really, really put her mind to it…she was special. That magic was obvious to everyone and if it wasn’t, she made sure it was. She was strong, capable, imaginative, kind, curious and clever. That little girl was me.
I can only imagine what the 7 year old and 3 year old must imagine. What they must believe to be real. What I know for certain is, that even if they don’t get it right away, I will continue to raise them to make sure that they too convey to others who they are: capable, strong, generous, kind and independent people. They will represent well…and garner much laughter along the way!