So Jonah just got an apple out of the fridge and asked me to cut it up. In my laziness, and a mild hope that it might knock his creepy dangly tooth out, I told him to just bite it.
He screwed up his face. “Noooo.”
“Just bite it! I said. It’s cool!”
He looked at it warily.
“Go on, try it!” I urged.
He look one more hesitant look at this alien round apple, and slowly broke into the skin with his teeth.
“Hey, Mommy! I think I like this skin!” he exclaimed, chomping, and went for another bite. This is big news at our house. I mean, this kid usually eats apple slices like the rest of us eat watermelon. I am pleased as punch. In fact, I’m ready to do a friggin’ victory lap. This is a triumph! Woohoo! Jonah keeps commenting about how good it is, and then starts crunching away on the thing as he walks toward the table.
And then suddenly, behind me, I hear, “Eww. Mommy, wait! I think this skin taste-es TERRIBLE!”
Aaaahahaha! Sigh. Apple FAIL.
So the other day, I got to have lunch with one of my oldest friends, Katie. She and I have known each other since we were nine years old, which means we’ve been friends for nearly an eon now. We keep in touch, but because she lives on the other side of the country, we haven’t actually seen each other for about three years. It’s a funny thing to see her–every time, it’s just like only a day or two has passed. No awkwardness, no big deal. I guess the both of us are just low on the drama and hype, which is so awesome. But I’m sure it also comes of having been such good friends for so long, and still having so many core things in common. I love her to pieces.
Anyway, we had a really nice lunch, catching up on the minute details of each others’ lives, and swapping stories. It was fun. But, as was bound to happen, we came to the “what are you going to do with yourself” conversation. It keeps coming up: your kids are in school now, and they’ll be in school full-time next year. What are you going to do with yourself? Don’t you want to work?
With Katie, I don’t resent having this conversation. She’s allowed to ask me those sorts of questions, as she actually knows intimate details about my life, like how many guys I’ve kissed and who was mean to me in the 7th grade. She knows where my talents lie and what I enjoy about working–and what I don’t. And she so didn’t put it that way: “don’t you want to work.” But she did ask whether I’d thought about it, and what I wanted to do. And though there’s no need with a good friend, I always find myself feeling like I need to make …excuses? Make it …sound like there are possibilities out there?
I discovered, after that conversation with her, that I’m making things up. I’m trying to please people with my answer. I’m trying to sound like an urban, hip kind of mom who wants to work on top of everything else. The truth is, I’m so not that mom. I love being home and having nothing to do. I love being able to spend my mornings in my jammies with my kids, and then spend my afternoons going to the grocery store alone. I love being able to cook and knit and play on the computer in peace, and then go pick up my kiddos from school and run them all over–to swimming lessons, to Grandma’s house, to the library. And I really do not miss working. Not even one little bit.
So. There it is. No more scrambling to give the “right” answer. From now on, I’ll be answering with how much I love staying at home. I think today I’ll stop feeling like that makes me inadequate, somehow.