The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

on call in the house of ups and downs

sunrise:  7:00

I asked my mother one time if she ever thought about getting a paying job while we were growing up.  I’ll never forget what she said to me.  "So many days," she said, "one of you kids (there were 5 of us) would come bursting in the door after school with some triumph, or indignation, or distress.  If I hadn’t been around at the time, the moment would have passed and I might never have heard about it."

I know that my mother’s presence in my school years, and her thoughts about it afterwards were a powerful influence on the choices I made as a mom.  Yesterday was a perfect example.

It was a half day at school because of mid-terms.  T. came home and we were just hanging around together for a while.  Then she got talking.  A fight with a best friend, big plans thrown out the window, worries about upcoming auditions, concerns about a test, frustrations with high school social life…nearly two hours of blowing off steam. 

What a privilege it is, to me, to be able to be there.  Even if I were present, but had my own job or other obligations hanging over my head, I would have been looking at the clock, perhaps feeling impatient, pulled in two directions.  As it is, I am free to be a mom first, almost any time.

An hour later the phone rang.  It was a college admissions officer returning T.’s call about whether or not all of her documentation had arrived.  Unexpectedly, he told her that not only were all of her papers in order, but she has been accepted to their school.  After a very gracious and poised response, T. finished her conversation with the man, hung up the phone, and burst into tears of joy and relief on my shoulder.  She’s an emotional being.  It may not be the college she attends, but it could be.  It's a good one.  She's in somewhere, has a place to go!

There have definitely been times when I’ve questioned the “at-home mom” career choice, especially with only one child left “at home.”  All of that time when I might have been cultivating a career of my own…  Then there’s an afternoon like yesterday’s.   My mom’s words come back to me.  No regrets.


  1. I didn't go back to work until my kids were in college. I've never regretted it. Women libbers tried to tell us that we can have it all. No, we can't. We have to make choices.

  2. I'd only add that having the choice is a luxury that many women cannot afford, either because they are single mothers, mothers raising kids in the absence of deadbeat fathers who don't pay child-support or simply because ends can't be made to meet on the income of one parent.

  3. No question you are right that having a choice is a luxury and a privilege. And I fully recognize that many women have NO choice. On the other hand, I also believe that many other women DO have the choice, but imagine that they do NOT, based on other aspects of life that they see as non-negotiable.

    I do so appreciate the opportunity to have lived the mother life that I have, but it's not all luxury. I get tired of the sentiment that stay at home moms are SO lucky. When you choose to stay home, you miss out on a lot of other things. I just wish more people would recognize it as a choice like any other. pros and cons.

  4. I certainly hope that my comment was not misinterpreted. HAVING the choice is a luxury (accepting that what is negociable or not is a grey area, the boundaries of which are determined by the individual "chooser"), but making the choice is definitely NOT choosing luxury. A colleague of mine, however, has chosen to stay "at home", but has also chosen to have a full-time nanny...perhaps that is luxury.

  5. you covered it well -

    I think I understood your point from the start, but you touched on a sensitive area that set me off. Thanks for giving me a platform!