Just the other day, I woke up and looked at my life. Really looked at it. I am a SAHM. A Stay At Home Mom. This is my title. My job description is to clean, care for, amuse and train another human being as though that body were my own. To know when they're hungry, to comfort when sad, to translate a band new, unrecognized language to English.
I have no car to be able to escape to the adult world, so during the winter when it's too cold to walk outside, I cleancareforamusetraincomforttranslate all day, by myself. Toddler speak is my life. Sometimes it's the loneliest job I can think of, and I feel as though I'm turning to mush in body and mind, becoming an Unsocialized. When I laugh too easily, when I get excited about "library storytime" or "Nature's Nursery" at the zoo, when I hunt unashamedly for new friends, I wonder if I've become (gasp!) culturally unjaded. What has become of me? But then I realized a piece of hard truth. This job that I've chosen is to give life. To give love. To give myself totally and completely. To lay down what is me, and immerse myself in the world of another for his own sake.
As he sits on the living room floor (oversized red ski-cap pushing out his little ears), putting stickers on his belly, I know deep down that this is the place that I need to be. His dimpled hands reach up to take my face, kissing me again and again, and I realize that my life is great. When I bake and he insists on stirring ingredients out of the bowl, when I'm cleaning up and he's transferring the sorted, dirty laundry piles from room to room, when he helps me make the bed by tossing carefully arranged pillows to the floor, I know that in all of this I am raising a man. And what could be more important than that?