If I wasn’t a mom I certainly wouldn’t be a flight attendant. I hate to fly and I’m quite the homebody. As much as I’d love to visit an Australian Kangaroo, the Egyptian pyramids and whatever that’s cool in China, there’s something amazingly peaceful and perfect about my own backyard.
If I wasn’t a mom I certainly wouldn’t be a doctor. Besides my mind being completely inept of all scientifical things, I am a dreadful wreck during any kind of distress. I panic, over-think, speak too fast and (believe it or not) talk too much.
If I wasn’t a mom I certainly wouldn’t be a nun. There’s the whole Catholic part, but more importantly I’m not sure life is worth living without a pillowtop mattress and chicken strips. Maybe they eat chicken strips… I’m not sure. Everything I know about nuns comes from Sister Act. Let’s also not forget how unflattering their wardrobe is. Couldn’t do it.
If I wasn’t a mom I certainly wouldn’t be an artist. I’ll just leave that up to my sister. My mind desires to think creatively, but the end result is far from pinterest-worthy.
If I wasn’t a mom I certainly wouldn’t be a chef, baker or culinary-lady. Unless it was solely based on the act of flipping pancakes. I can’t actually make the pancakes, but I have absolutely breathtaking flip skills. Always the exact medium gold color on BOTH sides. Always.
Whatever. Anyway, there’s quite a vast list of careers that would not appreciate what I can bring to the table (which I wish would be a lengthier list). If there was a job where one must exclusively flip pancakes, recite movies and play Tetris, that job would be mine.
I remember 8th grade English class with Mrs. Johnson, being asked to write a list of 101 things that we were good at. I took the assignment home in bitterness and despair as I came up with a list of six attributes. “95 to go,” Mrs. Johnson said the following day as I tried to turn in my college-ruled paper with the fringes torn off. I had rewritten the list at least five times trying to make it look pretty. I wrote it in a fuchsia-pink gel pen (because.. what else?) and a heart was drawn over my name in the upper right hand corner. I sat back at my desk I remember thinking I’d never be good at anything. Sure, I was mediocre at a LOT of things, but I’d never be a star of any high school sport. Being mediocre at a lot of things didn’t lessen the hunger to be phenomenal at something… anything.
We were asked to sit down while she explained the next assignment. “Many of you were unable to come up with a list of 101 things you were good at. Now I’d like you to come up with a list of 101 things that you are. See if that’s any easier.”
I’m a girl, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a granddaughter…
I could actually do this one! I made this assignment count, including things on my list that weren’t exactly desirable.
I’m a sinner, I’m a liar, I’m a failure, I’m a complainer…
Mrs. Johnson made it clear that the two assignments were designed for us to see the importance of who we are rather than what we’re good at. She spoke to me afterwards in the hallway to tell me she admired my latest assignment. “There are a few things that you put on your list that are not-so-great, but look at all the things on your list that ARE great. You wrote: I’m a Christian. I’m a friend. I’m a dreamer… the complete make-up of this list is you. And you could write 101 times that you are good at being you.”
Good point. I’d still like to be good at something though, I thought. Nine years later I’d become a mother. In just that moment my list would have looked much different. I could be so much more, do so much more, believe in so much more.
I’d fly around the world for you, I’ll make your pain go away, I’ll teach you about Jesus, I’ll paint your skies blue, I’ll make you lunch! I won’t ever be the best, but that’s okay. I’ll keep trying and trying to get it right. There’ll be days when I go to bed and say, “I really sucked today,” and I’ll wake up tomorrow praying I’ll do better.
If I wasn’t a mom my list would be nothing special. You make my list extra-ordinary. You make my list exciting. You make my list worth living for.