I caught a glimpse of myself the other day.
Nearly 9am, striding across the parking lot across the street from the church where my son attends Mother's Day Out, twice a week. My 7-month old strapped into the Ergo carrier, diaper bag stuffed with the day's necessities slung over my shoulder. Around me, minivans and trucks out of which poured moms and dads and kiddos all ages and sizes, toting bright backpacks and colorful lunchboxes. All of us heading in, the children to stay behind, and us parents to walk back out, get back into our vehicles and scatter across town to take up again the day's business. Along the way, we share hellos, smiles, glances.
Really? This is me? Am I really a part of this tribe, the mothers and fathers of Mother's Day Out? I've been a mother for over 7 months now, but the title is still kinda ill-fitting, like that shirt or skirt we've all bought that we really really like, but that somehow never feels quite right. All the other moms around me appear to be more at ease in their mothering shoes--it may not be the most glamorous pair, but at least it's broken in and comfortable. And here I am, acting the part, but a bit stunned that I've been cast at all.
I guess you could say it's a bit of a surprise to find myself here so early. Seven months seems a tender age to have your name and initials scribbled onto your possessions in Sharpie pen by a bleary-eyed mother in the dark of early morning. Seven months seems early to have teachers greet you by name in the playground, teachers I swear I must've met, but I could not remember their names to save my life. Seven months is quite young to have a life of your own.