1.19.2009

green eggs and ham


I remember a friend telling me once how she tried to explain to her husband what it felt like to have the work you do all day long undone before your eyes. She pointed out how he works on excel spreadsheets for a while. How he spends hours preparing information and making it look just so. And then asked him how it would feel if she just walked up and deleted is all. Every day.

And in that conversation we weren't complaining about our roles as mothers or housewives. This life is exactly all I ever wanted and planned for. So when I write about the parts of it that feel hard for a moment or a bit more than I imagined, I am just reflecting back on the former me and how I thought it was going to be. I wouldn't do any of it differently. I hope that goes without saying.

So sometimes in the middle of a situation I think of the former me again and I have a conversation with her in my head. Like I pretend in this conversation I am able to go back in time and explain it to the old me so I get it and know what to expect in greater detail. Just because I actually enjoy explaining things in great detail and I have about 43 former me's I talk to on a regular basis. Some call this schizophrenia. I call I Liz doesn't have cable television so she has to entertain herself sometimes.

So it's dinner time and there is fussing for food. So I hurry my pace and reassure gently that food is on the way. About 30 minutes of comforting the fussy one, emptying the dishwasher, preparing the drinks, table setting, and gathering The Other One we are finally ready to eat. Not a minute late for target dinner time! Before I can sit and fold my arms for the meal time prayer The Fussy One has flung his entire bowl sideways onto the table and the plate full of food smacks onto the floor. A few remaining pieces linger on his tray. He picks them up gracefully with his delicate baby fingers and flings them across the kitchen. As I take my seat I am relieved it's Monday because that means I still have a spring in my step. We pray and two of the three of us eat in the midst of the one-way food fight aftermath.

It makes me think back to the former me. How I would explain that scene to her in her terms. I would tell her sometimes it's like going to a meeting. One that involved all this data she would need to gather for 30+ minutes and there would be this deadline and copies of this report would need to be printed for everyone. And she would get it accomplished and have the margins just so and the heading all fancy. Just as she hands out the final copy in the room full of people, she finds they all crumpled it up and threw each report on the ground. She doesn't even get a chance to go over the information. Someone crosses their arms and tells her "we want the report on pink paper". Then they leave the meeting and she has to clean it all up and go through that exact scene in 4 hours. Because at 4pm they really want the paper blue by then.

And then I tell her how it's a little different when it's breakfast for dinner with scrambled eggs. Then it's like they put the reports in the shredder and hole punch before tossing it on the floor for her to clean up.
There was an error in this gadget