Typically, in the past I've always written about my mother on Mother's Day. But today I wanted to touch upon a different mother, namely, the mother of our children.
I do this in large part because she's earned every accolade she gets. She keeps the ship running tight and while we are still a team, still a village, she is what keeps the village from burning down.
Early into motherhood, we tried the whole day care thing with Sarah. At first Donna took Sarah to work and tried to work that scenario out. It wasn't long before that didn't work any longer and we set Sarah up with a babysitter. When that broke down, we determined that we were better off having her take a part-time night job and stay at home with Sarah and later, Benjamin.
I remember those days well. When I got in the door I was often met with a mother who needed adult stimulation and conversation. Often times it was "tag you're it," as she passed the kids off to me while she got things done that having two kids doesn't permit. (Things like showering, reading more than a paragraph at a time, etc.)
All it took was a couple of Pampered Chef conferences where I was left with the kids, to understand what her day was like. Diapers, formula, play time, meals, trips to the park, naps, more play time, bath time, more meals, story time and collapse in a blubbering heap time.
I quickly realized that, despite the pressures of a nine-to-five job, I was the one with the easy job, not her. I got to go to a (relatively) quiet office with my own space, uninhabited by extremely short people toting sippee cups full of milk and interact with real live adults. It doesn't sound that great until you've changed your third diaper of the day, stepped on a few Legos and answered thirty seven questions about where something is, or how come this, or can we go here?
It's enough to make email look appealing.
And she did it well. I think the best gauge of parents is how your kids turn out. And we've been blessed with a couple of smart, empathetic, funny kids. I am confident that we had a role in some of that. And I am even more confident that they would not have come out as good as they have had she not stayed at home during those early years. This is not to say day care is bad - everyone has different situations - I guess it is to say that I am glad we were able to work our situation out on one and a half incomes. I think it paid dividends.
So, now the kids are both almost off to college, and she's still rallying the troops. She has about three more weeks of shouting Ben's name upstairs every morning to wake him for school. Then, four more years of FAFSA (Student Aid), college registration dates, requirements, move ins, move outs, and finally launching them into the world.
And while yes, we're working as a team, she's up in the booth, calling the plays.
But there's three of us who are trying to drown out the crowd noise and execute. And we know the play will work, because she's the best in the business.
Happy Mother's Day, Donna!
We love you completely!