Last night I was threatened with being fired, and I kind of liked the idea.
Our youngest was kidding around – sort of – about how she would like her breakfast cooked and served. She got out a piece of paper and cajoled her older sister into writing down her wishes as she dictated them – anything to get out of the dreaded task of spelling correctly. The list went like this:
Water served in a wine glass
Fluffy eggs with ketchup
Never miss a local story.
Yogurt with bananas and grapes
I was to have it ready on the counter when she came down or I would be fired as her Mom. She of course was joking, I know she loves me but the words struck me in my own funny way, so I played along. I even tried to get out of it right-off-the bat suggesting she just fire me right then as her Mom – I was already beginning to see what this could be!
With her continuing to banter in the background I stared out the kitchen window into the dark night and let my mind try out the idea of this firing - the idea that I would lose my job as mother of this household. As chief-cook-and-bottle-washer. As grocery-shopper-and-all-meal-maker. As clothes mender, washer, folder, and ironer. As chauffer, administrative assistance and corresponding secretary; keeper of the calendar, typist of papers, buyer of gifts for giving. As nursemaid, nanny, tutor and psychotherapist. As Miss-Manners and spiritual-guider. As hugger, kisser, and lunch-packer.
Without all these jobs – these one-hundred-jobs wrapped up into one job – I could flee. Hop in my car, and drive off into the night, check into a hotel with down bedding, room service, morning mochas, afternoon tea and evening wine, a view out the window and a TV remote all my own. I would snuggle under the covers and disappear into a deep sleep until morning when I would wake and stare out at the cold frosty morning from my cocoon of eiderdown until the mood - not someone or something – moved me to get up. I would watch TV unencumbered by appropriateness or channel blocks, surfing for as little or as much as I wanted. Then I would take a long hot bath, and sit in my fleece pajamas by the window and drink cup after cup of hot tea and munch on chocolate digestive cookies, intermittently reading and writing and pondering my new life.
Then the pondering would bring me back to reality. To the reality of three blessed children and a wonderful husband who all lean on me, and love me, and fill me.
And I knew right then that I would hop in my car, tires spinning as I raced out of the hotel parking lot toward home, hoping that the position of mother had not yet been filled.