When I was a little girl I thought adulthood meant ice cream for dinner, perfect hair and a white dressed happy ending. Then I grew up. While I do sometimes have ice cream for dinner, it occurs to me that perfect hair must be for the responsible variety of adult. Mine is frizzier than ever. I did fall in love and wear that white dress, but my happy ending is a lot more work than simply kissing the prince and riding into a pastel colored horizon. Life is full. There are purple sunsets, kissing in the rain and the taste of a perfect creme brulee. But there are also bills to pay and errands to run and these things called, stretch marks. Truth be told, it is all a little bit shocking.
As a mother and wife I know what I am to the people that love me. I am a caretaker, physician, teacher, personal shopper, girlfriend, business partner, cook, chauffeur, playmate and therapist. I suppose we could add janitor to that list, too. Although I don’t know any janitor that would clean up after my baby’s dirty diaper. They have unions to prevent that sort of abuse. (Unionization for Mothers! We won’t work for less than two new outfits a month. Okay...raise of hands, who wants to be our Norma Rae?)
As a mother and and wife, what I don’t always know is what I am all by my little old self. Over the years I have tried on labels and causes and definitions. Here are just a few that never fit quite right.
Meg the Writer. Unlikely. I lack the drive to finish almost anything. That includes the three books, two essay collections and one short story I started (or thought about starting) over the past 5 years.
Meg the Perfect Mom. I just shut Margaret in her room for nap time. With a box full of Oreos. Not exactly Mother of the Year material.
Meg the Crusader. For a brief spell I spent much of my time very angry about very many things. I like being happy.
Meg the Bohemian. This girl shops at Nordstrom and dislikes going bra-less. I don’t think the keepers of bohemia’s unruly gate would ever let me in.
Meg the Girl That Fits Into Size 25 jeans. The odds of this one happening are perhaps lowest of all. My favorite foods are German sausages, bacon in any form and potato chip sandwiches. YUM-O.
An, ahem, edited list. There have been many more. Each one more embarrassing than the next.
The passing years tend to refine us. Figuring out exactly which ice cream to have for dinner, growing older, having children, coming to terms with the new, slightly southward direction of my breasts. All of it clarifies bits of this life. I don’t look for labels or definitions anymore. If I write a masterpiece or fit into a pair of stick jeans along the way, well, bully for me. And if I don’t, I suppose it really doesn’t matter. There will be bumps and bruises, and let’s face it, once in a while I am going to eat an entire bowl of peanut butter and chocolate chips. No big deal. I just need to keep moving forward.
Hi. I am Meg in Progress.