I think most moms occasionally have those moments where we think, "why on earth did I sign up for this?" And most self-employed women have moments of wanting to trade our crazy juggling acts for regular, normal jobs. This week I had a day that combined the worst of both - instead of the relaxing morning I'd anticipated (before a day of nonstop appointments), I had to take Ben to the orthodontist to have his spring re-attached - for the 27th time, I believe. Since I'd thought it would be fairly quick, I hadn't brought work to do, so I ended up having 45 minutes to thumb through out-dated People magazines. (And while I appreciate knowing why Jon & Kate split up, I still had other things I needed to do!) I was already crabby as I drove Ben back to school, so it didn't help when he announced, "Oh, mom, you need to bring my dress clothes to school, it's final rehearsal for the drama team play." As we waited in the office to sign him back in, I envisioned frantically hunting through Ben's room, having to reach behind the rat cage for his crumpled white shirt, and meanwhile Ben stood as far away from me as humanly possible, since of course 8th graders would rather die than publicly acknowledge the existence of parental units.
We walked out at the same time, with me prepared to make an anonymous exit, and suddenly Ben came up to me and said, "Mom, sorry about that, but there were some cool kids in the office and it's sort of embarrassing to have your mother at school." I said of course I understood, turned to leave (without doing anything really embarrassing like waving or kissing him), and then Ben called out, quite audibly, "Bye, Mom, I love you!"
Needless to say, I barely made it to the car before I burst into tears. That one, unexpected gift made up for the 45 minutes at the orthodontists, in fact, it made up for the $400 band trip fee, the nights I sat up with him when he had stomach flu, and even the 12 hours of labor. What a great reminder of why I made the choices I've made - if I had a 'regular' job and a nanny to handle all my tedious tasks, I would have missed a wonderful moment. (On the other hand, I wouldn't have minded letting a nanny look for the dress shirt and clean up around the rat cage . . . oh well!) And if I'd never had kids, I wouldn't know how it feels to cry with joy because a 13-year-old said something to me that didn't begin with "Mom, I need . . . . . "