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Monday, March 29, 2004

What a difference a week makes!

I've got a great feature assignment, an editorial consulting job for a magazine, marketing work for a major event and one other possible source of (frequency) work. What a difference a week makes!

And so my time to blog today is at a minimum. Just wanted to share this story from the weekend:

As the youngest of three boys, Michael tends to get all the hand-me-downs from his older brothers (if they last that long). Yesterday, he and I were home alone and I realized that he wasn't riding his bike. When I asked why he wasn't riding, he threw up his hands and yelled, "Mom! Would you look at my bike. Riley ate my helmet!" Indeed it was a sad sight. His brothers (believing they were bikers from the Gravity Games) pulled off the cover of his bike seat leaving nothing but the hard plastic and his kickstand had been pulled off.

We headed to Target to get his bike fixed up and buy a new helmet. While wheeling through the sporting goods aisle, a mom with a little guy in the seat asked whether she should buy her son the tiny bike or the 16-inch bike. I gave her my opinion and then realized, I'll never have training wheels, the tiny bike, the high chair, car seats, strollers, etc. again. I don't want to have any more children, but driving home I suddenly felt sad. That a HUGE part of my life had past.

I've had various baby things around my house for nearly 12 years and it's come to an abrupt halt. Michael starts kindergarten in the fall. Certainly, there are things I won't miss (diapers, potty training, middle-of-the-night feedings, wrestling a toddler into a stroller, car seat, high chair). But the sweetness and scent of little babies is a joy like none other. Motherhood, quite frankly, is what I do best.

I've had absurd people say to me, "You look like a mother of boys." What the heck does that mean? Do I look like a boy myself? Do I look as if I'll strap on the pads and run a few plays with the fellas? I'd like to think that if I had a daughter, I would be just as much a mother of girls. Of course I always thought I'd have a daughter. I had some great girl names—classic names—Anne, Clare, Jane and Kathleen (we'd call her Kate, a very strong female name).

I think what the "boy mom" people are trying, and failing miserably, at saying is that I seem to have the energy for a bunch of boys. And that, of course, is the truth. I watch more than my fill of SportsCenter, Cavs, Browns, Indians, college and little league/CYO games, have the ability to identify most construction vehicles and can create a Lego masterpiece with the best of them. But I would have loved to share a tea party, "Little Women" and dress up with a little girl. I get my little girl fixes from my niece, Natalie, and my best friend's two little girls, Emma and Grace. And I go home glad to know that I don't have to trip over microscopic Polly Pocket shoes and wrestle with hair things.

I'm happy to keep up with my boys (although it's doubtful whether I'll ever be able to keep enough food in the house for their growing appetites). I'm proud of their individuality and I'm happy to be home to share my day with them.

And so the news of incoming work this week is sweet since my efforts to spend more time with them is paying off. I can put a full-time job out of my head at least for a few more months.

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