So no happy shiny pictures for you today, my friends. Instead you get to hear about how I found myself sitting in a teeny tiny chair, with my knees folded up around my ears (aren't there any 6-foot first graders with a chair I could borrow?) in front of an adorably cute, and truly gifted first grade teacher thinking I Guess I'm a Grown Up Now.
The teacher is going on with her happy chatter designed specifically for Parent Teacher Conferences, and all I hear is this thundering voice in my head going I don't feel old enough to be here! I mean, I remember MY reading books from first grade!
this is um, Not Me.
Those moments, the moments where you think wait, am I the grown up here? are coming thick and fast these days. There is somehow, somewhere, this odd transition between all the years you spent waiting to be an adult, to the point where you look back and wonder how you got to be the person in charge.
It's fair to say I've been wrestling a bit recently with my lot in life. You know, no sackcloth and ashes, no tearing of the garments wailing Why God, WHY?!?!? - more just your run-of-the-mill existential angst. I think it was the minivan that tipped me over the edge.
All of the sudden I have become a caricature of Suburban Mom, with my sparkly blue minivan and my worn-out jeans and my preschool pickups, and the scary question, the most scary question of all for a SAHM rears its ugly head: just who ARE you?
This may be magnified to some extent by contact with old friends - childhood friends - on Facebook. These people knew me before kids, before jobs, before credit cards. Heck, some of these people knew me when I could string together sentences coherently enough to get into grad school. When I chat with these old friends I want to be Kirsten: not Mommy, not Torbjorn's wife (ooh, helloooooo Mrs Nilsen!), not (please God no) SoccerMom.** And more and more I am finding that I want new friends to talk to Kirsten, and not those other versions. But I'll tell you - trying to figure out who that is is tougher than convincing a two year old that we're not having Halloween candy for breakfast.
The directions these thoughts can go are dark and deep, my friends. This may end up turning into a number of posts, 1) because if I can't share with you, then really I'll have to go talk about this on the street corner with the neighbor who has LSD flashbacks and 2) the opportunity for several days worth of posts cannot be ignored.
**For clarity: Through use of this term, I do not impugn those parents, mothers and/or fathers, whose children play soccer. In fact, I am greatly alarmed at my children's lack of ball handling skills. I refer simply to the bipartisan shorthand that smug politicians find so useful.