Last night, Brittney and I had my folks and their very good friends over for dinner. I was terrified as I think anyone is when their mother comes over for dinner. I have never marinated chicken so perfectly. Anyway, my mother and her friend Jean started talking about their careers, and I noticed two things.
The first is that my father and Bill, both of whom are pretty impressive at their own stuff, will gladly sit back and let my mother and Jean detail their professional experiences. There was no dumb mansplaining or interrupting. I was very impressed with them both for letting the ladies take the floor.
The second is that I cannot believe my mother had a very serious career and two kids. Sometimes I'll be running from work to an evening work thing and I'll think, 'How on Earth did my mother do this. If I had a kid right now, I'd hate her.' As a child, I could not understand why my mom wasn't waiting for me in the parking lot in a minivan with snacks in a cooler. I wasn't just ticked off about it, I didn't get it. I had to wait until 6. SIX!
But now my mother is a wealth of genius career advice. Now I can explain work stuff to my mother and she enthusiastically gets it immediately. I don't know that my mom was really good at being suburban, doting, refrigerator-art mom. But she was really good at her job. I suddenly understand how good that can feel. And I am suddenly amazed that she was able to find a way to have a job that was really important to her and simultaneously raise two humans who didn't turn out to be serial killers.
Because if I had a kid right now, he'd be setting small animals on fire...