To my beautiful, funny, smart daughter who is nearly two years old…it occurred to me tonight that I want for you an understanding of WHY I do what I do. And while it will not be appreciated by you (or likely anyone else) until long after I’m someday gone, I wanted to capture it here. I was inspired by reading this post at Single Dad Laughing earlier today. And it made me wonder what I would regret if for some awful reason you were taken from me. Would I still volunteer the hours to Clio Country Club and all that it entails? Would I continue to make Flint Women’s Forum meetings? Would I care about the Frankenmuth Jaycees? What about every other committee and organization I’m involved with? Would I regret my time volunteering with them because it impedes on our time together?
I’m still not sure.
But I don’t think so.
And god please don’t ever let me be forced to know.
But, for now, I think I would be glad I did all of these things. And here’s why:
If you ever wonder why I’m attending the orientation/open meeting at your school or sport or otherwise, it’s because I want to make the organization and your experience (and every other child’s) the best it can be with all the resources available to us.
If you ever wonder why I’m running late to pick you up from Gamma and Pappa’s, it’s entirely because I got caught up in the ways to improve our golf course, our schools, our community, our state. And while it’s not important to you if the golf course/club thrives, it’s important that I continue building the tradition we have here so that someday you have the choice to continue it or enjoy it as an adult. It’s important to me that I leave some legacy for you to live within.
If you ever wonder why I’m outspoken at meetings of any gathering of people, it’s because I’m smart and have a unique take on the world. I believe that I’m a better person for speaking my mind and forcing other people to speak theirs (it’s truly NOT that I want to hear myself talk). It’s because I believe that we can all be made better at ALL times. And talking is the way I know to accomplish it.
If you ever wonder why I’m challenging your teacher, coach or mentor to try something new or different, it’s because I believe that tradition is strong, but it takes creativity to make traditions stick.
If you ever wonder why it’s you and your Dad home late lots of nights – it’s because me, your Mom, is pretty good at being involved in things and I believe it’s important that SOMEONE volunteer to do things, so I will do it. And I will sacrifice my time and energy for those causes, organizations and events because it benefits YOU and your FRIENDS and people who might someday be your friend.
If you ever wonder why I’m willing to be the loudest voice in a room full of women, it’s because I want you to know how to be that too.
If you ever wonder why I’m willing to stand up to the bullies (yes, there are adult ones too) it’s because I’m not afraid. It’s because I’m well-educated and smarter than most and am pretty good at debating and arguing. And I’m not afraid to be made wrong. More importantly, as a woman, I’m not afraid to be right.
So if you ever wonder why, someday, that I was loud, that I wouldn’t shut up when your Dad asked me to, why I didn’t come straight home from work and instead went to networking events on lots of nights, it’s because I want you to know that this, too, is possible. Being a woman or a Mom who stays home is possible with the right financial situation. Being a woman or a Mom who is hyper-involved while maintaining a pretty sweet career is possible too. And being happy and free of guilt (mostly) is possible too.
And I want you to know that – without me having to tell you.
This is my example. I’m proud of it. I look forward to watching who you’ll become. I look forward to regretting nothing about the parent I’m trying to be for you. At least thus far.