Oh where, oh where have you been, Daily Cup of Jo?
I’ve been around. I’ve been doing stuff. If I could put a spin on any of it that would create a reaction like, “No f***ing way!” to which I would respond, “Way,” I would. Problem is, on so many levels, in far too many ways, I am the quintessential suburban housewife. My oldest turned thirteen last week so we threw her a surprise party. Nothing I could say about her or the milestone felt any different from what anyone else is saying about their thirteen-year-old daughter. I wanted Goldie to tell me it was the best birthday party in the history of birthday parties, but alas, she did not. Parents are posting on Facebook about end-of-school year accomplishments. I’d like to shout, “But mine are better than yours!” yet I anticipate that wouldn’t go over well with anyone. My children are exceptional but – who knew? – so are everyone else’s. I was aware of this long before the now-viral ‘You’re Not Special’ commencement speech given at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts two weeks ago (which actually makes me sound special and intuitive). Honestly, what is the big deal about David McCullough’s words of wisdom?
I’m not special. I’m competitive and so I want to win at this mothering thing and it drives me a little crazy that I won’t – but I get it. I get that billions of women have gone before me and done exactly as I’ve done. I could’ve sat down over the past two weeks and described in minute detail all the amazing tasks I’ve accomplished (too many to count) but you would’ve only been halfway through the list before clicking over to kittens playing piano on YouTube. In addition to not being special in the grand scheme of things, what I do on a daily basis isn’t terribly interesting either. Oh, I’ve tried to make it so. As I recount my trip to Costco for party supplies to anyone who will listen, I embellish about the drive over, the samples they were offering, the amount of time it took to get in and out. Compelling stuff.
Here’s the biggest issue I have with all of it. No one, really, actually no one, fully understands that while I may not be special, I am, in fact, awesome. A nanny cam would’ve proven this fact as I hoisted a wooden love seat onto my shoulders Thursday and carried it around the house to the pool in back for the second of two parties I threw last week. That was in addition to carving an ice sculpture in the shape of a lion (the girls’ school mascot).
All right, I didn’t carve a lion! I threw juice bags into a big bucket and covered them with ice. But I accomplished ninety-seven different things last week and so when Miss T started crying on Wednesday because she was tired and didn’t want to go to soccer practice, you can imagine my reaction. She’s tired?! They’ve been watching movies at school because they’re done with their studies, and she’s tired?!
The one line from the ‘You’re Not Special’ commencement speech that stuck in my head was this, regarding a mountain: “Climb it not so you can see the world but so the world can see you.” I think the nanny cam might be a really good investment. Or maybe I should just climb up on the roof and shout about my awesomeness. The girls would love that.
Thanks for listening. And now, summer begins. Carpe diem.