Friday, August 20, 2010


I read something recently about happiness. It went something like you should be happy about where you are, right this moment, because, at one time, it was all you ever dreamed for. At first I thought that was really nice and all. Here I am, a stay at home mother of three girls, by choice, post career, and crazy single years, complete with tales that would curl your hair.True. I did dream of all of this. I wanted to change diapers, and cook dinners, and drive kids to school. I asked for this. Why should I complain? But what if I had read that little bumper sticker tidbit, and I was homeless, or a drug addict, or in an abusive relationship? Would I have found it so "deep"? Would I have sat back in my chair, and said to myself..."aaaah, yes! So true!" Am I always supposed to be grateful for all that I have, because I could have nothing? Is that how most people feel?
Every day, when I take Olivia to the bus stop, there are other mother's in their cars..okay...mostly minivans...with their kids, awaiting the bus. Every day. Like clockwork. We are there at a little past 8. There was a woman, who drove a seafoam colored minivan. She was heavy. She looked like in the past, she was pretty. Now she had three kids, and the years had softened her, and she was round. She was very nice, always waving hello to me, every morning. When I had Molly last in the spring of 2009, she got out of the seafoam minivan, and wanted to see the baby, and stared at her, and smiled, adoringly. She had three little boys, and they were always hanging on her. Her older boy was in school with Olivia. He was always well dressed for school, and had his lunch packed with him.
This past spring, she stopped coming. Her husband did the bus runs. This went on for a few weeks. Then she returned. Clearly sick. Like something out of a movie. Head wrapped in a scarf. No eyebrows. No eyelashes. She looked yellow. Her skin was actually yellow. I said nothing to her. I continued to wave to her. "Hello". "Good Morning sick woman", I would think. There seems to be something terribly wrong with you, but I will pretend that you enjoy the scarf, and the shade of skin you have, and smile a happy smile to you, and continue my day, oblivious to your terrible pain.
I found out last week that she is dead. I felt a knot in my bowel. I felt my throat tighten. Oh my god, I thought to myself. I just saw her trying to figure out her new i-phone, seated in her seafoam minivan. How could that be? What do you mean dead? What about her kids? Where is her new phone? What do you mean dead. She just got a new phone. (This actually ran through my head)
Am I supposed to enjoy the suckiness of going to the supermarket with my kids, and listen to their fighting, and take it when they tell me in their roundabout ways that I suck? Wouldn't this woman have given her eyes to be taking her boys to the bus this coming first day of school? Shouldn't I just let my kids be kids, and love every second of it, because I am still here, breathing, and watching them, and able to experience all of this? Isn't it time that I stop cursing my kids under my breath, because they constantly need something?
Is this all I ever wished for? At one time, yes. Do I want it still? Yes. Can I amend my list now, or is it too late?
 For the sake of the driver of the seafoam minivan, am I supposed to just shut up and be grateful?

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