(Jennifer M. is the latest winner of the Lost in Suburbia Stories campaign. She will receive a free copy of my book, “Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir,” and a gift basket from CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy and Health Rewards valued at $100! To share your story, click here!)
How did my elementary school-age children get so amazingly brilliant? By draining me of every useful brain cell. Really, I’m pretty sure I have two brain cells left to rub together, and they’re only serviceable for making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cleaning mystery drips off the floor before my dog licks them.
In my Life B.C. (a.k.a. life before children) I’d like to think I could put together the occasional rational thought. I had topics of conversation delved from time to think and reflect – opinions on politics, dissections of popular movies I’d seen, first-hand perspectives on new trendy restaurants.
Now, just making a pot of coffee in the morning is a feat of mental gymnastics. I mean, how can I be expected to remember the order of filter, coffee grounds, water, “on” button when I’m also combing beautifully-curly-but-forever-knotted-hair, quibbling over available breakfast choices and begging my children to put their shoes on (and on the correct feet!) for school? I need a cup of coffee to manage this information and yet I can’t seem to make that magical brown sustenance appear. Drip, damn you, drip!
My only hope is to teach my brilliant offspring how to make coffee and hope they’ll take mercy on their poor, batty mother.
I thought once both my children were in public school (take that preschool tuition!) five days a week, I would have many glorious hours to sit down at my laptop and really get to work. Write the great American novel! Write personal essays that stir the soul! Delve into meaty journalistic assignments that would put to shame the soft features I wrote while my kids were younger!
And yet when faced with a blank screen and a blinking cursor… nothing. The dirty dishes call out from the sink. The stack of school forms that still need to be completed teeter next to my computer. The emails from busy PTA moms looking for more volunteers blare in my inbox.
How am I supposed to tune out this static? No really. I’m asking for a friend.
Life P.C. (a.k.a. life post-children) is one where I wonder what I did with all that time Life B.C. Why did I not write the great American novel when I had the time to stay up late and sleep in? When weekends weren’t laden with soccer games and children’s birthday parties? How and why did I waste my precious relative youth?
These questions are too much for me to process. I might need another cup of coffee.