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Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

The three of us sat idly chatting while observing our young children practice their strokes during swim team practice. A pleasant enough afternoon safely protected from the sun’s harsh rays under the cool shade of a large patio umbrella.

A mild, uneventful afternoon watching our children.

Conversation meandered from good nutrition for our children to school volunteer activities, which led to my sharing the juggle of combining my work with the children’s schedules.

Somewhere in the midst of suggestions about daycare and nannies, I asked one of the mothers, a former teacher, if she was considering going back to teaching sometime down the road.

She turned to me and replied confidently, “No, I enjoy being a Mom.”

I didn’t know how to answer.

My three-year-old, dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast snuggled against me before scampering off to find a friend, her yellow gown billowing about her. The “princess phase” is in full tilt at our home and I can readily recite the soundtrack from The Princess and the Pauper movie.

The kids and I laughed on the way home from picking up their third grade sister about Grace’s interest in all things girly. Grace delights in the attention.

Gazing across the pool, I watch my six-year-old’s determined arms as he swims toward his instructor. He knows that I’m rooting for him. Strong arms! Strong legs! When he gets out of the pool inevitably, he’ll race to me, hugging his wet body against me, eager to share how much better he’s swimming.

I think to my third grader’s determination to complete her homework first thing after school. She’s right now busy at work on a book of illustrated poems, inspired by Shel Silverstein, whose work I shared with her class.

They are my love.

I enjoy our life.

I enjoy being their Mom.

But why should I have to justify that?

I breathe in the still air and offer as evenly as I can, “I enjoy being a Mom, too. I also enjoy my work and am glad to have it.”

No more said, but inside the wind’s still knocked out of me.

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