It's raining today, and I find that I don't mind it too much. I'm sitting at the kitchen table and the boys are involved in a Lego-building project that's reached a daunting level of complexity. I should be writing my paper (shouldn't my blog just be titled "I should be writing my paper?" Damn, I should have thought of that two years ago), but I can't seem to stop procrastinating. I had hoped to finish it early so as to avoid thinking about it during the weekend, but I'm afraid that I'll be writing right up to the 6 pm Sunday deadline. There are worse things.
My morning routine has shifted a bit in the two weeks since swim practice has ended. So when the phone rang at 9:45, I was still in my pajamas. I had just taken a shower, and I don't like to wear a bathrobe, so I just return to my pajamas after I shower. Anyway, the caller was a friend and fellow team parent who was going to pick up a box of team paraphernalia at my house.
"Hi", she said. "It's me. I'm in your driveway, but I didn't want to just ring the bell."
Well, I wasn't going to send her away, so I told her to just come on in. It's not that I'm such a princess that I don't allow myself to be seen by my people until I'm fully dressed and adorned, it's just that the ingrained ethic of the full-time working mother made me embarrassed to be still in my pajamas at almost 10 in the morning. My visitor is a very successful real estate agent, who is always busy, always working, always attached to the Blackberry. I'm pretty sure that she was running from one important appointment to another, and that she'd already accomplished more this morning than I might expect to accomplish all day.
I've really loved being home this summer. I love sitting on the deck watching swim team practice; I love taking the boys to the library and the post office and the grocery store; I love letting them invite their friends over for lunch and then carting a gang of boys to the pool for the afternoon. I even like forcing an unwilling 8 year old to work on his summer reading and math. I'm really going to miss this. I also miss working, though. You know, Bravo runs reruns of The West Wing in the mornings, and I like to watch them sometimes when I'm cleaning up breakfast, and drinking coffee and getting dressed. Now I'm having an existential crisis and I blame it on CJ Cregg. I've been pretty happy hanging around at home, but I'd also like to be running purposefully around an office, busy busy busy, putting out fires, telling pesky reporters where they get off, maintaining a coolly polite and professional facade and then indulging in a stream of colorful invective once I slam my office door behind me. (Being six feet tall and still wearing heels with my suits is an unrelated but important part of this fantasy). I also like to make my own money.
I have a lot to do. I've been contemplating a career change for a long time, but I won't be able to really pursue what I want to do (assuming I figure out definitively what that is) until I finish school, so I think that I'll be underemployed by choice for some time. I'd like to figure out a way to be part of both worlds. I'd like to fix my hair and wear work clothes and think hard and think on my feet, and I'd like to enjoy the camaraderie of hanging around with the neighborhood mothers. I'd like to earn a regular paycheck (it's OK if it's a small one) and I'd like to overhear my son's conversations about a Lego minifigure's work day (even they have jobs, apparently). It's a lot to ask for, I think. And I still have a paper to write