When the small boy person comes running up, with a soggy face, saying he can’t find his “udder little doggy and the little elf guy,” I feel like I’m wearing a red cape and gold boots.
Because I know exactly where those toys are hiding in this house. Moms always do.
I take the lead confidently, saying “follow me, little man,” and walk to his room. His little steps pound hopefully after me, stubbing along down the hallway. I pull open the closet, pull out the blue bucket, put my hand into what appears to be only a tangle of dinosaurs and trucks, and pull out the little doggy and little elf guy. The smiles and joyful exclamations make me realize that this…this is what it’s like to be Wonder Woman. I tell you.
It’s not like I feel this way all the time, but more and more I can see myself through their eyes. And it’s fun. It helps me to be happier about what I do every day. I spend a large part of the day either working around the house (or working on projects for my job, etc) while wondering if I should be playing with my kids more OR playing with my kids while wondering if I should be working more. I don’t always get it right, but most days the balance makes me pretty happy. Because it’s my job to play with my kids…and it’s my job to do my work. Both are good.
But sometimes cleaning and organizing and cooking and cleaning, despite evvvverything else going on my life, can seem like it’s pretty much just for me. I mean, I’m the one who likes it neat and tidy. I’m the one who can’t stand gross floors and dirty counters. I’m the one who wants to be able to put clothes away easily and open closets without having the doors run off their tracks because there is so much junk falling out of them. And I’m the one who does the bulk of that kind of work.
I can say, oh yes, we need to keep things organized and clean because it helps us all to find things when we need them, it teaches us to be good stewards of what we have been given, it helps us learn responsibility, and on and on and on. (I can lecture all day. It’s in my mommy blood.) But really, it’s my own preference. And I have things down to a pretty good science most days, and yes the others do help, but I’m the one who gets the most weirded out when things are all over the place.
But when I get to be Wonder Woman, it feels pretty awesome. I see how what I do all day means something to them. Yes, they take it for granted. But that’s kind of cool, too, if you think about it. They know that if they come to me for a missing item, the human database will probably be able to find whatever it is. Moms tend to be the proverbial glue that holds everything together.
So instead of being annoyed when my husband can’t find the shirt hanging right in front of him or my kids need help finding the things that they left behind and didn’t take care of properly (sometimes I joke about being “housekeeping” in my best David Spade voice), I just picture myself standing with my feet firmly planted, my head held high, and my fists on my hips, looking svelte in a gorgeous red, white, blue, and gold one-piece. I envision my glorious long black hair flowing down my back and my tall boots. And my shining red cape. (Usually, there is a wind machine involved in this picture.) And it makes me smile.
Of course moms are heroes for many other bigger and better reasons, but I’m pretty happy with the smiles and dimples and jumps for joy I get to see at my house when Mommy comes to the rescue.
I just have to look at myself through their eyes…and I’m Wonder Woman.