I'll admit it -- Mondays are not my best days. Sundays are so very long -- up early, grumpy kids, getting things in place, three services, 6 Sunday School classes to oversee, acolytes to round up, taking care of the communion stewards once a month and during the school year, other classes to teach. Sundays are long. I got up today to take the grumpy kids to the local high school for drama camp. The loving husband woke me up for the second time and said "Hey, you've got 30 minutes" or something of the sort (my brain wasn't exactly functioning at the time.) I got the kids up, fed and watered them, got them dressed. I looked in the mirror and saw my mother staring back and switched off the bathroom light. The bags under my eyes looked like I was packing for Europe.
The kids and I made it in plenty of time, but I ran into Perfect Mother and Wife. She was groomed perfectly -- the hair had been recently done by a professional (we can get the good stuff in this part of Atlanta). Her makeup was incredible. Her teeth had been recently whitened -- her figure looks fantastic, even after 4 kids. She is so disgusting. She babbled on about how well her kids did on their testing and how her eldest will be graduating at 16. She of course homeschools and her kids are so very well behaved. The get themselves up at 6:00 to start their school at 7:00 after bathing themselves (without prompting) and feeding themselves a hot breakfast. I think I am getting nauseous. We chatted for a minute and then she dismissed me with a flick of her hand to talk to someone higher up in the food chain.
I got in my car after being dismissed and looked at myself in the mirror. I've gained an additional 30 pounds in 18 months -- I've moved from plump to frankly fat. My eyebrows look like two caterpillars. I have coffee stains on my teeth. I cut my hair myself a couple of weeks ago and I have a few scragglies. And I have a pimple -- nestled between two incipient wrinkles. Where did that golden decade go between pimples and wrinkles? It's not fair to have both!
I used to have thermometers that you could paste on the kids' forehead and the heat from their body would darken the spot under the correct number. Dark blue spots, as I remember. If I had a jealousy-o-mometer, my dark green spot under the word "screamingly envious" would be so dark as to be almost black. Sigh.
Then when I picked up my kids this afternoon, I remembered that last week at VBS another "Perfect Wife and Mother" in our church was also a driver. Yet when queuing up for rides, my car was always full and hers wasn't. I remember one of the kids saying to Chaos "your mom is So Cool" and "I can really be myself around your mom." I also heard that I was interesting and that they knew I loved them. I suppose that’s really the measure of a person. I think I'd rather be interesting. I just wish I could look good doing it. I think I’ll skip the chocolate and go get a pedicure.
The real me behind the pulpit. Short, so that I look like a talking head on the pulpit. With double chins.