The Winds of Change

Life has been slightly turbulent for the past month here at Chez Knighton, and it looks to continue for another three weeks or so. Mainly because I’ve resigned my position at my current fruit-flavored employer and will transition to another company on August 9th.

To add to the adventure of changing jobs, I’ll be traveling to New York next week for BlogHer. Then taking the train from NYC to Boston to meet a new colleague and attend a few meetings, and later in the week flying home to entertain my parents for a few days, just before flying out to Virginia for an entire week of training at the headquarters. August is booked solid.

And while this looks like a lot, and actually is a lot, I’m more excited about work and this new adventure than I’ve been in a long time. I can hardly wait to get started.

But first, I must plan my wardrobe and shoes!

You Will Never See These People Again (Part 2)

Last weekend, Husband and I went on a drive through a couple new neighborhoods. We do this from time to time, peaking in on new construction, visiting open houses, and generally dreaming.

Anyway, we stopped at this one place where the builder’s cleaning crew was putting the final touches on a brand new house, so we asked if we could look around and they said that would be fine. So, we helped ourselves to a tour of a really lovely place that we could imagine living in.

But, just about the minute I fell in love with the master bathroom, we heard voices in the other part of the house. We walked into the living room to discover another couple there, and we assumed* they were also getting a tour.

Not quite so fast.

Turns out, they’re the new owners, having just had this lovely house built and soon to move in. And, as it also turns out, we were officially trespassing. But what really got the lady-of-the-house’s goat was the fact that we had parked in her new driveway. She was totally hung up on the fact that “not even they drove in the driveway.”

Let’s just pause here and consider that statement. Um, isn’t the purpose of a driveway to handle parked cars? No? It’s just me, then?

So, we made our apologies and got the heck out of her new house, making a new line of tire tracks on her no-longer-virginal driveway. And leaving them with a story to tell for the rest of their lives.

*We all know the definition of assume.

You Will Never See These People Again

Remember that episode of Seinfeld, where Jerry, Elaine, and George are waiting for a table at the chinese restaurant? Remember how Jerry dares Elaine to eat something from the plate of a stranger. “Don’t say anything. Just pick up the egg roll, eat it, and walk away.” Remember that?

*Pause. It’s kinda sad that I’m taking life lessons from a TV show, but there it is.

Anyway, Jerry tells Elaine that these people will never see you again and that she’d be giving them a story they can tell for the rest of their lives. So, I’m trying to do a little bit of that. To be more daring, to take a few risks. To stop caring so much what total strangers will think of me.

Which is why I walked up to a stranger at a concert a couple weeks ago and rubbed my hands along his extra-tall, super-spiky, purple-died mohawk. Twice. On two separate occasions, in different sections of the arena.

Because I wanted to know what that felt like. And that super polite young man? He’ll have a story to tell for the rest of his life.

*Note: at the same concert, we photo-bombed a group shot, and later yelled “Shazam” at a guy in a Shazam t-shirt. He had no idea what the lightning bolt on his red T meant! Kids these days. But, at least we gave them a couple stories.

Sipping from the Cup of Motherhood

I recently spent some time with a nine year old girl, a child I would adopt as my own in a heartbeat if she didn’t already have a mother who loves her. In the course of our time together, she got something in her eye, some lotion or something. Doesn’t really matter what it was, it just stung.

So, there we were, away from home and my first aid kit, with nothing but a bottle of water and the clothes we were wearing. I did the thing that doesn’t really help and hurts almost as much as the stinging eye pain. I poured water in her eyes and wiped with my t-shirt. While she cried. And my heart broke.

This child, completely trusting, let me hurt her to help her, to induce tears to relieve the pain. And I’m standing there drawing all my limited strength not to break down in tears next to her. While she’s just begging me to make it stop, please make it stop.

Don’t panic. Keep calm and carry on. Whatever.

There is no pain so great as your heart breaking like this. I hurt a child. It was necessary in the emergency, and it was awful, just awful. I love her, and I hurt her.

The funny (terrible-wonderful) thing is, a few minutes later, she’s all better and back to her sunny, happy self. Like it never happened.

But it did happen. And I don’t know that I’ll ever quite recover from the experience. I don’t know that my heart is big enough or strong enough to do the kind of work it takes and to live with the kind of pain that comes with being someone’s mommy.

Seriously, how do you moms walk around with your heart out there all day, every day? You are my new heros. Because THAT? That takes guts.