The day my son heard me take that business call, I laughed so hard, I worried that my tear ducts would dry right up.
Allow me to set up the scene.
The kids and I are in our family car, driving up our street and into the driveway, back from an activity, when a call comes in.
The powers that be from work have a question and they need it answered now.
I naturally move the call to bluetooth, so I can multitask: both arrive at our destination and answer said question simultaneously, a talent perfected best after having children.
I go through the motions, talking, explaining. I throw in a word or two from an old SAT prep course from years back. Some medical terms are also exchanged.
I get through the call only to notice my son has shifted positions, angled toward me, and staring.
“What?” I ask.
I notice his blinking cease, as he looks on in wonder. Or maybe it’s confusion and I’m just reading into the stare, or even exercising some run-of-the-mill wishful thinking, fit for any working parent. He’s trying to understand the scenario that has just taken place.
“You. Why do you talk like that? You’re, like (and, in a deep authoritative voice, he proceeds with the imitation, brows bunched close together, accentuating dramatics), ‘Have her come back into the office, blah, blah, blah, syringe.. blah, blah, bloodwork, blah, blah, blah.”
He proceeds with his theatrics until he’s made his point, then stops. He wants an explanation.
I let his words sink in and then hysterics follow.
Our children have their own vision of what we’re like. When we deviate from that expectation, even by a bit, we become unrecognizable.
To him, I’m always his run-of-the-mill, everyday Mom. Day in, day out. He doesn’t recognize Work-Mom, doesn’t know her. I play many roles at home – from Mom-Who-Makes-Pancakes to Mom-Who-Dances-In-PJs to Mom-Who-Screams-‘Get-Back-in-Bed!’ (which I lovingly refer to as Mom-Who-Kisses-Me-Good-Night.. *shielding eyes*).
I’ve certainly never introduced the Mom-Who-Decides-Which-Labwork-To-Order-On-A-Patient outside of work walls.
That afternoon, after he heard that call, I felt like I wore my own sort of superhero cape, even if it was just for several seconds. He looked at me differently for a short while after that, from the side – a newfound admiration.
It may have been fleeting – that moment of reverence – but it felt terrific from my end. During those few moments after hanging up that call, and stood just a wee bit taller, letting my cape fly.
And then, between deafening screams of their fighting, it was time to make dinner. OK, I ordered in.