I still remember how I felt when my first child was born, and I became a stay-at-home mom. It was a major transition for many reasons, not just the obvious one of taking care of a newborn baby for the first time in my life.
One of the things I remember vividly, for some odd reason, is attending a Tupperware party a month or so after my son was born. I’d been to Tupperware parties before, but always in the evening or on the weekend. This was on a Tuesday morning, and as I tucked my son into his car seat and drove to the party, a strange feeling came over me. It wasn’t so much because this was the first time I was taking him anywhere other than to the doctor for a wellness checkup. It was more because I suddenly felt like I was playing hooky from school, or calling in sick to the office so I could go to the beach. I was struck by a feeling that I was doing something sly and sneaky by going to a social event in the middle of the workweek.
Driving to the party, I felt as if I were seeing a whole new world. I found myself becoming curious about the other people out on the road that morning, and wondering what kind of jobs and lives they had. How many were driving to or from meetings and appointments? How many worked weekends, or the night shift? How many were out running errands, and just going about their daily lives? I also wondered if any of them were like me, stay-at-home parents still getting used to a new way of life, and working for a very different type of boss in a job that was 24/7 long before the term “24/7” was invented.
All of this ran through my head the other day as I was driving to a doctor’s appointment. It is literally only once every few weeks or so that I leave the house now, so when I do get in my car to go somewhere, it feels like a slightly novel experience, just as it did that day years ago. And just as I did back then, but for entirely different reasons, I found myself again wondering about the other people out on the road. Not in a judgmental way, but just out of curiosity. How many were essential workers, on their way to or from jobs at the hospital or grocery store? How many were driving to or from meetings and appointments? How many were out running errands, and just going about their daily lives? And does anybody go to Tupperware parties anymore?
That baby boy of mine, by the way, will be 35 in a few weeks, so I have to laugh at the idea that simply driving to a doctor’s appointment today could conjure up a memory from shortly after he was born. Perhaps it’s proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Or maybe it just means I need to get out more.
August 7, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020
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