Saturday, February 22, 2014

"So what activities does he do outside of school?" the doctor asks.

"Basketball" I respond. And then he cocks his head and gives me a questioning look, as if to say, Is that all?

I begin to pad my 9-year-old's activity schedule, with nothing to gain but my doctor's stamp of approval. 

"So he is starting up swimming soon. And we've enrolled him in a few summer camps."

The doctor nods. We have passed some sort of test, but only just, provisionally.

And this is how it feels all the time.  Not just for the kids, but for me too. 

My husband has the badge, the one that both literally and figuratively opens doors in Silicon Valley. Another great mind in a place where there is no room for average.

****

I meet for coffee with a new friend. And as promised she introduces me to her good friend, the author. When I get home I enter her name into google and discover not only the acclaimed novels, but other talents, grand prizes, an extraordinary mind.

Yet, today we sat and talked of nothing but our children and the never ending struggle to nudge aging uncooperative bodies into shape. And as we sipped on our lattes, I not only resisted the urge to pad my own resume, but erased the little I have achieved in my adult life outside the realm of motherhood.

****

I give myself a talking too. I hear the voices in my head of the people who love me, but who I also wear down with this crippling doubt, this need for reassurance. And just as I wish to feel that sense of belonging, of being worthy rather than provisional, I know that it is this sense of not belonging, of being an outsider, that is in many respects a gift.









8 comments:

  1. And this is why I love you and your perspective. You are right. So right. When you put it that way I believe you, just as well if you'd advised me the same in a typical moment of doubt. We just don't have the knack of telling ourselves quite as much, do we?

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    1. Thank you Twitchy. I love that you understand always where I am coming from (and take the time to let me know).
      M xx

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  2. "I know that it is this sense of not belonging, of being an outsider, that is in many respects a gift." Just beautiful.

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    1. Thank you lovely. BTW I used the word "shamozal" the other day in conversation (and took an American by surprise).
      M x

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