My Former Self

The babysitter came by yesterday
afternoon for a couple of hours. For the first time all week, I had the
chance to just take a relaxing shower and get ready without
interruption. I remember the days where I took advantage of that
luxury. I even ::gasp:: had time to blow dry my hair!

Next came
make-up. I probably need to buy new make-up since I haven't worn it in
so long. As I smoothed the light foundation onto my skin, I saw the
blotchy redness disappear, acne became almost invisible and my
complexion was smooth and even. A touch of eyeliner made my eyes pop
out. The shadow on my eyes was deliberate that day, put on the top of
the lid instead of earned underneath (those blue signs of sleeplessness
had disappeared for the day). I pulled out the mascara and swept it
across my lashes, reviving them.

I looked at the woman in the
mirror. She was someone I hadn't seen in a very long time, but I was
happy to see her. I smoothed some product into her hair, taming the
fly-aways. She looked good. She looked surprised to be called forth
once again. I went into her closet and tried on her clothes. A little
tight (I somehow don't remember a muffin top before) but with the right
top, I could work with it. I went back and looked at her again. Her
hair was a bit different, but basically she was the same as I
remembered.

Yesterday I called her forth to go out into the
world, to go to schools and put her name into the hands of the people
who would call her for jobs. She walked into a school she had never
been to before and began to look for signs that would (hopefully) point
her way to the office. The signs were not there, she went in the wrong
direction, she was off to a bad start. Luckily, a group of students
were standing by the doors so she asked them to point the way. One boy
offered to take her. He led the way and was courteous
and sweet and she remembered how much she loved working with these
kids. She remembered how good it felt to be a positive influence in
their lives. She remembered how it felt to have someone look at her,
not as a "person without a paying job", but rather as a "professional".
She gained a lot of confidence on that walk to the principal's office.

When
she walked in, she even had the courage to ask to speak to the
principal. He had a free moment so he saw her and she gave him the
letter that she had prepared outlining her experience. She had even
highlighted her contact numbers so that if, as she hoped, the letter
was posted in the staff room, teachers could contact her. She felt
proud of herself in that moment. She went to a couple of other schools
and repeated the process.

She stopped and grabbed a coffee and
visited with a friend, a mom. The differences between them were
striking. She looked at the mom, and she saw herself three hours
before. Can a person change that much in just three short hours?
Evidently they can. She had a blast with the other mom and her adorable
(though sick) daughter. She was cool and confident and put together as
only a person without a child can be. She had endless patience and a
sense of humour with this girl that only comes from enjoying another
person's child. With this child, all her tricks were new, all her faces
were funny. With this child she was a fun treat.

She and I drove
home together. We thought a lot about how this next stage was going to
work. She used to be a part of me. She used to BE me. Can I still be
her without feeling like someone else? I couldn't yesterday. I got home
and suddenly Peanut was running to the door and I was MOMMY! again. I
held her tight, I kissed her sweet face, and then "she" was gone and I
was back again.

Reposted from: Michelle's Blog

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