Monday, October 26, 2009

What do you want to be known for?

Throughout my life, I have longed to be "known" for many things.

As a child, I wanted to be an artist. I loved to draw, and loved looking at paintings by Renoir, Van Gogh and Monet. My family, friends and teachers saw my potential do be great artist, and I relished in the compliments. I loved to see their impressed faces when they saw my newest "masterpiece." I decided, as a small child, that art was destined to be my calling in life, and wanted at that point, to be forever known as an ARTIST.

As a teenager, I discovered a hidden talent, (that became a not-so hidden talent). I loved films, and I loved plays and the theater. I discovered that I was an actress. I was able to perform pieces of script to a captivated audience and was able, with my words to convince the watcher that I was someone else. I became transformed while on stage. I won state-wide medals in high school drama competitions, and realized as senior in high school, that as long as I was acting, I would be complete, and happy. I wanted to be known as an ACTRESS.

As a newly married adult, at the tender age of 22, I was filled with the good intentions of doing good in the world. I had wide-eyed ambition of molding young minds and being a light to children who may not have a light in their lives. I entered college with the belief that I could be a successful teacher. I began working in a program that put me in the elementary schools, and gave me opportunities to touch children's lives. I had found my true calling in life. I wanted to be known as a TEACHER.

At 25, I wanted to have a baby. We tried and tried, to no avail for two years. Despite the utmost desire of my heart, I began to realize that perhaps, children weren't in the cards for me. We finally found help in a dear friend, and chiropractor. We conceived, and the joyous day that I found out I was expecting, I knew that my true calling had finally come. I wanted to be known as a MOTHER.

Here I am at (almost) 30, and to the world, I appear to be nothing more than the latter, a MOTHER. But, is that really it? Is that really what I am, and ALL that I am? To many people, (especially those who have chosen careers) that is ALL that I am. I am looked at as someone who has settled, someone who has not achieved those dreams of days passed. I am looked at as though I "do nothing."

But, I beg to differ.

Are my drawings in a museum, or even hung on ANY walls? No. But I am an artist. My son and I paint almost daily. He loves the books I draw for him, and he loves for me to draw him "more trucks," and "more airplanes," and "more puppies."

Am I on stage, or in movies like I dreamed of as a young girl? No. But Ezra loves my rendition of the grizzly old pirate captain when I sing and dance the Spongebob Squarepants theme song for him. He loves to see me animated, and I make him laugh daily with my silly faces and over dramatized emotions when he finds me at hide and seek, or when I pretend I can't see him as I call out his name, only to act so surprised when I bump in to him.

Am I teaching in a classroom? No I am not, but I am a teacher. I teach my son daily just by answering his questions, and it makes him happy to know that mommy does her best to help him grow and learn. I love to watch him grow and apply what he's learned with his own ideas and expressive language.

Am I JUST a mother? Is that all I really am? I would have to answer, "yes and no." No, because as a mother you are so many different things. Every day is a new hat to wear. Yes, because being "just" a mother is a great honor. I get to watch and participate actively in the development of my son. What a wonderful career. I am happy to be forever known as a MOTHER.


Olivia Carter said...

This was put so lovely & I agree with you 100%.

Thanks for articulating my feeling exactly.

Susan said...

Thanks Olivia! I just ramble, and sometimes it comes out sounding eloquent, and well thought out. ha ha. I think its a shame though, that so many people look down at women who choose to stay home and be with their children... Like we have given up on life or the pursuit of our own needs and interests... I'm glad there are other mothers out there who feel like I do!