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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Self Discovery

Self Discovery

I sat in a meeting once; a school improvement meeting, as my children were in elementary school at the time. The principal asked the members what we dreamed of becoming when we were children growing up. Answers ran the gambit from doctor, lawyer, accountant, to ballerina, athlete, and rock star. When it was my turn to answer, I took no hesitation and replied...a mom! At first people were aghast, taken aback. How could a child not dream past the captivity of parent hood? This is not a career, a calling. Then there was embarrassment, as all of these people were parents themselves.

Yes, I replied. I have always wanted to be a mom! I loved my mother, my childhood growing up, the idea of loving and being loved in return; unconditional love, I believed, that existed only between a parent and child. I devoted %110 of my time, patience, and self to the nurturing of my two children. Night after sleepless night of feedings, fevers, and night terrors. The reading of books, rocking to sleep, and eventually sending off to school; where the influence of the outside world could undo the morals we, as mothers, so meticulously instill.

Fatherhood is a different beast. Men define themselves by what they do; I'm a doctor, a lawyer, a government stiff. When their career is defined, and financial status secured, then, they look to accessorizing with wife and children. All the while, however, that part of who they are, the career, never waivers. They go to work every day secure in the knowledge that the doctors appointments will be scheduled, school lunches packed, homework completed, and wife will be happy to greet him at the door, as long as the paycheck is in hand.

Then, the day comes when the children don't need round the clock care. It is enough that they know your physical presence is located in the kitchen or living room where they can easily access you if need be; god forbid you be in the bathroom, bedroom, or laying on a beach somewhere, their world falls apart. Now you are asked the question, “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” People now want to know how you are going to make a living, pay for college, support the house hold. All the while you thought you had a career, and your home was it.

So I started on a journey; one of self discovery. Who was I? What interests and passions did I possess past those of the immediate needs of my family? They should never have asked, because I found I did have them; and the universe fell apart. I revealed abilities within myself I did not know existed.

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