Tugga, Tugga, Tugga…my last baby, is nearly nine years old. Tonight he told me that when we go camping, he wants to bring his roller skates. You know, so I can tow him behind my car. (Or maybe HELL NO!!!) Brenna, my first baby, who is old enough to know better, says, “My dude… I will tow you behind my car.” (Note to self: Brenna is no longer qualified to babysit.) Luke says…”Ooh, can we?” And that’s how I know they’re mine. Miss Shannon runs from squirrels like there is a hell hound on her heels, but never, ever from actual danger that could kill, maim, or otherwise inconvenience her. I call it having a life well lived. Sometimes… I get so bogged down in the minutia that I forget how I love an adrenaline rush, a good thunderstorm and getting out of my own way.
My little Tugga asked me the other day what was my favorite thing to do when I was a kid. I told him I liked to play on my swing set and read books… He was very, very surprised. He said, “Momma, I thought you were going to say your favorite thing was cleaning.” What in the name of all that is good and holy am I teaching this kid???? Here’s what’s worse… I shared what I thought was a funny story about a little kid not understanding being an adult with Dozer and he, like my eight-year-old, was absolutely shocked to learn that I do not enjoy cleaning. I am quite certain that there are women on earth who enjoy these tasks… Miss Shannon is not one of them. I clean my house because I want to live in a clean house, I’m the mom and it is my job. It’s an adult task, not exactly a blast…kinda like paying the electric bill. Yet, two of the people nearest and dearest to me think it is my all-time favorite pastime. As women, we often put aside the things that bring us joy in favor of required tasks. Miss Shannon is calling shenanigans, because dammit, women matter, too.
I got a little perspective today on a bike run. I participated in a very nice ceremony honoring fallen vets… then we stopped at an ice cream place where a particular family was honored. We missed most of it but what I really saw was two little kids, maybe two and four. The little boy wore his daddy’s dog tags and the little girl carried a bear wearing fatigues. Mama carried their wedding photo. Those kids are babies who will never know their father. Thank you for your service seems a little pale in comparison. That guy died in the service of this country, so people like me can bitch about housework and politics and taxes. Instead of feeling guilty, I choose to make my life matter. I will continue to raise good human beings. I will continue to work for causes that I think matter… hunger, domestic violence, children and vets. I will enjoy the life that I am afforded because of people like this man, whose name I don’t even know. Miss Shannon urges you to do the same.