Many Hats

I wear 4 hats.

I’m an executive assistant. We used to be called secretaries, and somewhere along the line our title evolved. It’s considered something of a disrespectful gesture to be called a secretary now, but I’m unsure why. Our job is whatever our boss tells us it is. Our role has not changed. I happen to work with the world’s best boss. I have a job that allows me to provide for my family and be dedicated to my children the rest of the time. I’ve never had to work a minute of overtime, and anything I take care of outside of work hours is by personal choice. My boss makes me look good. And I often remark that after working with him, I could easily work for the President of the United States.

I’m a friend. I love my friends so much. I do anything for them, and they do anything for me. There has been a lot of turmoil in my life over the past few years, and I’m only not in therapy because I have my very good friends. They listen (and anyone who knows me knows that is a gargantuan task), they’re supportive, they offer advice, and they make me LAUGH. Very important: laughing til your face hurts.

I’m a daughter. My mother lives 5 minutes away from me, and we’re very close. We can spend hours on the phone; you have to know that although talking is one of my favorite things, I actually can’t stand talking on the phone. Other than 2 minutes of making arrangements, I hate it. But she and I cover all topics, nothing’s off the table. In part it’s because the kids are with us whenever we’re together, and you can’t discuss grown-up stuff around them. I am there for her, and she is there for me. It’s easy to forget that as a teen I was terrible to her and she couldn’t stand me, and she drove me crazy. Somewhere along the line, we accepted each other and became friends. It’s heartening, since I have a daughter myself. She will hate me, then we’ll be friends, I hope.

Being a mom is both the heaviest and lightest hat I wear. It’s the most demanding, fulfilling, thankless, rewarding, stressful, hilarious, infuriating, simple, complicated, exhausting and energizing job. I’ve had it for almost 10 years now, but you know that saying, you can’t even remember what it was like before they came along, it’s true. What did I do with all that extra time? I don’t know what to do if I’m not taking care of someone. Since splitting with their dad, I only see them 5 days a week (including all weekends), and those 2 days without them are eternal. It’s actually true. Of course they can make me crazy also, but they’re my favourite people, my best friends, I’m lost without them.

Max & Sofia today, fresh after Max's haircut

And now, they’re going away with their dad for 2 whole weeks. They’re leaving bright and early tomorrow morning, so spending tonight at his. In the 4 years since we split up, he’s never taken them away, and I’m at a loss as to how to handle this. My heart is already aching and I already miss them so much, even though they’re sleeping only 20 feet away. I’m working the whole time they’re gone, but the nights and weekend, I’m dreading them. I know what everyone says, I should “take advantage” of all that “free time”, but free time is one of the things I can’t stand in the least. I’m always doing something, and not having them to care for is going to make me mental. I’m trying to fill up my dance card, but my heart is not in it. Coming back to an empty home is going to be so hard.

That’s it. This is more like a diary entry, I know. I’m going to get my rascals up now. And in the next 2 weeks, if I have nothing funny or good to say, I won’t say it, promise!

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Comments

  1. They’re adorable!
    Don’t worry… I am sure they’ll come back faster than you expect.
    You’re sooo lucky to have your Mom living in Canada with you!
    Let’s go for drinks while their away… ;0)

  2. I enjoy your writing so much! It’s refreshingly honest and open, while not being narcissistic. Keep it up!

    • One thing that’s key is don’t apologize if it sounds like a diary entry. The difference between a diary and a blog is this: a diary is kept in a locked drawer, while a blog is kept on a public web server and eagerly promoted at the proprietor’s every opportunity. Otherwise they’re exactly the same.

      You’re welcome,

      Bret

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