Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Laundry Woman

I used to dream that I could fly. It was always hard work for me, but I could do it, just barely making it above the trees and out of reach of whatever was chasing me. I used to wake up after one of those dreams and be grateful that there was something that felt true about it. It felt like a superpower I kept hidden to myself. I felt myself taking off over those trees again when I graduated from college and, ready or not, I knew that I was going to move out of state. I was going to explore.

Years later, my son was born and at that moment, I felt a surge of power again, a different superpower. It was what I imagined a grizzly felt when someone got between her and her cubs. I am grateful that it felt so true and that no one really tried to mess with my cub.

Then, when my son turned four, he started to dream about having superpowers. We had long conversations about what power he would want if he could choose a power for himself. There was invisibility, super strength, flames. Yeah, flames were cool. Nick wanted to pick a power for his dad, but Mike wanted to choose his own superpower. Those were the days when we had to teach Nick that he couldn't choose who other people got to be, that they chose for themselves, but one day, I was curious.

"Nick, what superpower should I have?" I asked him.

"Momma, you can kill people with your voice." It was awful. It was wonderful. It was true. I had used my voice to try to get his attention, to try to motivate him to get ready, to demand that he follow the rules of safety, of courtesy, and of justice, all with my voice. Plus, I can sing really really loudly.

Lately, I've felt that grizzly bear mom isn't so necessary any more. My boy is getting his own power and doesn't need as much protection.

My voice doesn't need to be as strident any more either. I'm working to use it on Nick less and less every day. Tonight, I didn't even have to tell him to get ready for bed. What is that? Do I feel a little bit weaker than I was when Nick was four?


Today, I decided it was time for a new superpower. Oh, I'll always want to fly over the trees and I'll always protect my family if they need me. And that voice - it's not totally retired from service when Nick needs a shove in the right direction. Plus, I can still sing really really loudly.

I figured it out today. I've decided that I wish my superpower was to be able to carry a whole load of laundry from the dryer to the bedroom and fold it without dropping a single sock on the floor.

Would that be too much to ask?

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment