This week, for The Red Dress Club’s Red Writing Hood assignment, we were asked to rework a previous post, something that we were initially proud of. This is the piece I selected. It was my second post on this blog.
It sits, ignored, in a darkened room with a concrete floor. It sits, on the bottom rack of a metal shelf, amongst luggage and boxes and Christmas decorations and a stray lamp shade. It sits, gathering dust, in the liminal space between where the washing machine runs and the tools wait to be used.
It proclaims, in an ancient language I never learned to read, that I succeeded.
Its crimson crest and gold seal announce that a woman whose name I no longer bear accomplished a long-sought goal.
It hung, for years, proudly in a room with windows, visible for all to see and projecting an aura of confidence and seriousness that I never felt really fit me.
But now, it waits in the dark.
Certainly the process by which it came to its new home was torturous—I was confused and sad and angry, very, very angry.
Angry, I think, at my perception of a world that promised me a dream, a balance, that I couldn’t make happen, no matter how I tried.
And I grieved for the woman I was, and for those dreams.
He doesn’t know it’s there. He hasn’t noticed it. Apparently it’s not as interesting as the mop that lives near it.
He has no idea how much earning it cost me.
And he certainly doesn’t understand how and why it came to be where it is now.
Or the sacrifice that move entailed.
But he does understand the consequences of its new home. He knows that if he is scared or hurt, I am there. That the tickle attack or reading session will last as long as he likes. That we walk, hand in hand, wherever he wants.
In his mind, we spend every day laughing and playing together.
This is his life—his reality.
I love that.
And I love my time with him.
That’s why, for now, it waits.
Life on the Mama Track supports all women in whatever career and family decisions they choose. This post is meant neither as a recommendation for staying home nor one against working full-time. It is simply my story.