Today I feel small. Not in the sense that I lost 50 pounds over night kind of small…small in relation to everyone and everything else around me. Insignificant may be a better word. Each day I take my kids to school and it’s like Groundhog Day. I mean seriously, I pass the same people at the same places in town at the same time every weekday…like clockwork. Last week, I didn’t pass the old farmer that pulls out in front of me every morning in his beat up pick-up truck and I got seriously worried he had passed away! Why? I don’t even know him and he pisses me off every morning when he pulls out in front of me, yet his absence threw off my whole morning. That is so strange.
The cast of characters in the play entitled “The Morning Routine of a Mom” goes something like this:
There’s the business lady who drives a white sedan. She’s always in the turn lane next to me at the light putting on her make-up.
There’s the Pakistani man who’s family runs the Shell station up the road who is out every morning washing windows and picking up litter from his parking lot to make sure everything is just right for his customers.
There are the workers at the peanut processing plant who cross the road in front of me every morning carrying their Mt. Dews and their lunchboxes…some of them wearing the same clothes as the day before.
There is the working mom who is always, and I mean always, yelling something while looking in her rear view mirror. I love the scarf she wears though and her hair style is to die for!
I pass a number of factory workers drinking their morning cup ‘o Joe, smoking their Marlboros, and blasting Tim McGraw on their way into another shift in the hot plant.
I pass a black woman, still in her pajamas and slippers, walking her two children to school…but she doesn’t walk them completely to the school, she walks them to the end of the road the school is on and then watches closely as they finish the walk alone…hand in hand. It’s almost like she doesn’t want to be seen. And then I watch her walk home alone, every morning, with a sad look on her face. I worry about her…
In front of me just before I get to the main intersection there is a blond girl who drives a Pilot, her dad in the passenger seat. She takes the turns just a little too slowly…trying to be cautious…this morning she ran a red light. I hope Dad reamed her a new one.
I pass an elderly woman every morning who’s look of concern never changes. Every morning she looks like she’s got the weight of the world on her shoulders…and she probably does. You see, I’ve learned a lot about the African American people in our area…the main thing being they take very good care of their own. One woman who comes to every one of our yard sales with her husband tells me every time about the three children that she is raising that aren’t even hers. You see, the young mothers at her church who feel too overwhelmed to raise their babies after they are born just give their babies to her…and she is more than happy to raise those babies as her own. She yard sales to buy things, not for herself, but for those babies and for the young mothers from her church. I don’t charge her for the kid’s clothes she wants. She is an angel in my eyes.
I look at all of these people and wonder what their lives are like. How many of them struggle every day just to get by…and how many have lives that are really going well right now. How many have husbands who are deployed, and they have to carry the burden of being Mom AND Dad…maybe that’s why the scarf lady is constantly yelling in the morning. Who knows. I see these people and wonder if any of them see me in the mornings too…and wonder what my life is like. I feel small in the grand scheme of it all. So many people so busy doing so many things…so much on their minds…and in their hearts. So many people doing all they can every day just to get by. Makes me grateful for the life I have.
Today I feel small…how do you feel?
- Thank You, Robert Frost
- Life With Balance