Four Months In: We're Still Here, Too

May 19, 2005

A few months ago when my daughter was four years old, she stood beside my desk chair and asked, "Mommy, where's your wipes it?"

I looked up from the computer screen. "My what, sweetheart?"

"Your wipes it."

I thought hard. "You mean, a kleenex?"

"No, your wipes it."

Huh? She was gazing at me so earnestly. So expectantly. I racked my brains. A washcloth? Paper towels? TP? Ah, yes. "Toilet paper?"

"No-o-o-o," she drew out, and repeated more loudly, as though hoping maybe I was just a bit deaf, "Your wipes it." And she pointed to the computer.

My...? My wipes it. Of course. A little too close to TP for comfort, maybe, but--

This month she turned five, and the other day I heard her clearly answer her brother, "Mommy's working on a web site. Or maybe her blog."

I'm not the only one who's learning. I'm also not the only one who's sacrificed to get this far.

Not long ago I asked my six-year-old what he wanted me to pick up for dinner from the Japanese to-go place. Before leaving, I turned back and asked, "Honey, do you remember when Mommy used to cook dinner and we'd all sit down at the table and eat together."

He wrinkled his little brow and narrowed his eyes. Finally, he gave a little nod. "Yes, I think so."

I don't suppose there's a single parent who hasn't faced the dilemma of career versus family life. There are so many factors and extenuating circumstances involved, I don't see how there can be one clear cut solution. I know I'm just bumbling along, doing my best and hoping things get easier on all of us over time. I sure would like to know how others manage to stay on top of their game and still have a home life, too.