Sometimes it sucks being a working mom. Like when you say to your incredibly excited daughter, who is dressed in her home-made Condor shirt and ready to leave for the zoo two hours before it opens:
“I wish I could be there today.”
And she says, simply, “Then come.”
It never gets easier.
“I can’t.” My voice is as cheerfully apologetic as I can make it.
She knows I have to work. I’ve been working Saturdays since I went back to retail three years ago. This is not a practical question. It’s an existential one, and I can’t answer it to her satisfaction. “Because I have to sell diamonds to rich people” won’t do, that’s for sure.
“I just can’t.”
“Why don’t you call work and tell them you’re sick?” She says this like it’s a brilliant, unheard of solution.
“Because I’m not sick. So that would be like stealing from them.”
“No, it’s not.”
We clearly need to do some work on her moral compass.
“Honey, I have to go in. You’ll have a great time with Daddy.”
She’s not happy, and neither am I. But it’ll have to do. I’ll hear about everything tonight, in the half-hour we have together before she goes to sleep.
In the meantime, I’ll imagine her at the zoo in her handmade shirt, holding Mike’s hand and skipping to the “World of Birds” show.
And I’ll try not to be too grouchy with the people, featherless and bland, who inhabit my world today.
My big guy did this tonight when I was leaving for a meeting. “You don’t HAVE to go. You’re not FORCED to.” Hmm. I love MJ’s unflagging enthusiasm for birds, and this t-shirt is fantastic. Hope they had a ball, and I hope next year it’s on Sunday.