Friday, August 26, 2011

Why I'm OK with being JUST a mom ...

My high school reunion is coming up in less than two months. This will be the first time that will see most of my graduating class since we walked across the stage ten years ago. Big deal? Well, kind of.

You see, I went to an ultra-competitive residential magnet school here in Durham, The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. And when you graduate from a school like this, you don't just go off and do whatever. You're expected to make something of yourself. Accept the Greater Challenge as the school's motto states. There was no superlative for "most likely to succeed" because it would have been a 200 way tie. So this reunion, it's not really a 'typical' reunion by any means.

There will be a lot of doctors, a lot of lawyers, a lot of PhDs, a lot of MBAs, a lot of people who have gone out and changed the world around them. And thinking about this, frankly, made me a little nauseous when I first received the reunion invite.

What about me? What do I have to show for the amazing education that I received from NCSSM or that fancy Chemistry degree hanging on my wall? I'm just a mom.

I clean up our house six times a day. Wipe vomit off my shirt. Sometimes I don't get to wash my hair or even take a daily shower. Don't even ask about make-up. I do laundry, wash dishes, fix breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes these meals are eaten; sometimes they're thrown on the floor or given to our dogs. I pick up toys and books, fold teeny tiny socks and little bitty pants, I make our beds and change the sheets.

Today, I even celebrated poop in a potty like it was freakin' Marti Gras in the bathroom. Instead of saying things like, "Buy" and "Sell" or "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury", I say, "No, don't put dog hair in your mouth", or "Seriously, please stop eating chalk."

My life is anything but glamorous. But instead of being embarrassed or ashamed that I'm just a mom... I'm really, really proud of it.

That's because when it's my kid that's taking turns nicely at playgroup or giving hugs freely. Or wooing cashiers at Whole Foods or the old ladies at the drug store with her ridiculous cuteness, I get think to myself, Yea, I'm her mom.

The extra pounds I'm carrying around these days, came with the ability to say words like, "Baby Weight" because... I'm a mom and I grew a whole new person.
When Bea is playing quietly in her room, provided she's not eating diaper rash cream, and I sneak in to watch her, I'm the one who gets to think, Wow. I'm a mom.
 When she was first born and the doctors said, "She's very small, but you can tell she's got spunk and she's a fighter. Congratulations, Mommy."  It was me that got to say, That's right she's my daugther and I'm now a mom.

And when she stumbles around and skins her knees and hands and no one else can make it better but me... that's right, it's because I'm Mom.

So, in October, when my fellow classmates ask me what I'm doing with my life these days; if they ask me how I've changed the world around me, I can tell them about my career with pride. I get to tell them that I created a human... FROM SCRATCH.
That's right, at my reunion, I'll be known as a MOM. Period. No just needed.



  1. Your NICU story and your miracle girl are SO much more interesting and thought-provoking than any career achievement or degree on the wall.