"Adorable Julian" -- this was the subject of an email from a classmate's mother to me today. She volunteered in Julian's classroom today, and said Julian wrote her two notes (part of a group project I guess), and then took her hand as they were walking back from the library.
He sure can be a charmer!
He can also be a miserable pain in the rear end, as he was at home later. But please, let's not think about that now.
Today I filled out an "employment application" and an approval for a background check -- final steps in a likely job offer. I can't help but get pangs that maybe Julian took this mom's hand because he wants a mom there. I think he'd be thrilled to have me in his classroom sometimes. I don't know any mom that volunteers in the classroom that doesn't love it, though that's a very self-selecting group. Would I be volunteering anyway if I weren't looking for a job? Or endlessly feeling guilty that I should want to but have to drum up enthusiasm for it? If it was important enough to me to be that involved, wouldn't I have worked my life that way?
I can't deny that the last 2 months of work, when I had a really interesting project, revived a huge part of me that's been dormant. I like the focus, the having to think hard, the collaboration, the sense of accomplishment. Could I get that same satisfaction from being a full-time mom? The answer is self-evident: apparently not, or I'd have done that. Now, if I could just get over the guilt.
Today I revived another long-lost part of my life: I went to a ballet class. And I was reminded again of another source of focus, concentration and accomplishment that my former self used to enjoy 3-4 times a week. And don't even get me started on what our trip up Mount Hamilton last weekend did to me.
I can't be an engineer, a dancer and a motorcyclist -- my old self -- and a mother. But I am a mother, that's permanent. Yet I haven't learned how to be truly internally satisfied without those things I used to do. I need to though; I'll have to find other things that supply the same basic elements (concentration, challenge, accomplishment) as I age out of those.
I just hope I don't squander the most important thing I'll ever do by trying to satisfy, or squelch, the relentless urge to be me.