This morning I was all dressed and ready for work. I had on what I call a “sophisticated businesswoman costume” complete with a cute pair of heels. I was checking on the dog, helping my oldest with her vocabulary, and packing a lunch when I heard a ringing sound. I looked up to find that my toddler had my phone in his hand and was making a call. I took a step toward him so that I could grab the phone and avoid disturbing who knows who from my contact list, but as slippery toddlers tend to do, he ran.
Funny how little legs can move so quickly. Not so funny how I couldn’t keep up with him. I tapped and clopped after him in my high heels, doing my best not to slip on the tile floor and end up in the emergency room. Guess what? High heel shoes aren’t made for chasing speedy little boys with impish grins and ringing cell phones in their hands.
Caleb giggled and I kept tapping and clopping, feeling larger and more clumsy with every step. Around the dining table we went, through the kitchen and into the next room where big sister was working on vocabulary. Mackenzie stuck out her hand and helped me catch Caleb and I snatched away the phone. We discovered then with a sigh of relief that he was calling his big sister. We disconnected the call and I proceeded to finish the morning craziness, inching ever closer to tears. With a few minutes left before time to leave and a few things left to accomplish, I kicked off the heels so I could function as mom. And function I did, as I started the dryer, put on some makeup, fixed breakfast, and then, in my last act of motherly bravado, changed the poopy diaper that appeared at the exact moment I should have been walking out the door.
I stepped back into the heels, grabbed all the necessary stuff, loaded the car and backed down the driveway with a sigh. My heart is always heavy as I end my mommy time and start my professional businesswoman time. Did I do what I should? Was I too crabby? Will they remember how much I love them? Did I forget the cookie dough fundraiser? When will I get around to hemming his pants? Do I have enough diapers?
Tonight, after everyone was in bed, I realized as I squeezed out the last of my contact solution that I forgot, again, to pick up more today. I also forgot to get the alka seltzer I like to keep on hand, and the orange soda Mackenzie needs for a science experiment. There are some documents in my purse that need to be scanned and emailed. They’ve been there 4 days now. So I’m letting the tears flow at this point. Sometimes I have to let the spinning plates drop and just cry over my inability to do it all. Sometimes I have to nurse the blisters that pop up from trying to chase tiny boys while wearing high heel shoes.
Maybe I’ll invent a pair of perfect shoes. Ones that look sophisticated and gorgeous, but have traction for running after two-year-olds, with comfort that makes standing in the grocery store line a pleasure, and of course they’ll match every outfit.
But there is no such perfect shoe, just like there’s no such perfect me. It’s impossible. What I’ll do is keep living my life, keep loving my kids, keep working hard, keep learning and growing and chasing, and make the best of the times when I just plain have on the wrong shoes.
And I’ll keep smiling. I CAN do that in high heels!