Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Of course I have a job. I'm a mom.

A woman, renewing her Drivers' License at the Motor Registration Office, was asked by the counter clerk to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the counter clerk, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the clerk emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Medicare Office.

The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in mid-air, looking up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mum." Motherhood!

What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?" I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants".

To My Child (Just For Today)

Just for this morning I am going to smile when I see your face, and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning I will let you wake up softly in your flannel p.j.'s and hold you until you are ready to stir.

Just for this morning I will let you choose what you want to wear, and I will say how beautiful you are.

Just for this morning I will step over the laundry to pick you up, and take you to the park to play.

Just for this morning I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle together.

Just for this afternoon I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the garden blowing bubbles.

Just for this afternoon I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one, if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or how you might have been before your diagnosis.

Just for this afternoon I will let you help me make cookies, and I won't stand over you....trying to fix things.

Just for this afternoon I will take you to McDonalds and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have two toys.

Just for this evening I will hold you in my arms and tell you the story of how you were born and how much we love you.

Just for this evening I will let you splash in the bathtub, and I won't get angry when you pour water outside the tub.

Just for this evening I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch swing and count all the stars.

Just for this evening I will bring you glasses of water and snuggle beside you for hours and miss my favourite TV show.

Just for this evening, when I run my fingers through your hair as I pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you goodnight, I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing.... except just one more day.