Women Make the World Go Round
Kayli stands at the kitchen sink. Her once tiny fingers – that I still picture pudgily wrapped around a pacifier – are now slender, pink-tipped, and deft. She washes and slices our summer bounty; strawberries and blueberries rainbow their way into a white bowl.
At the table, Chloe and Brody dot flags. She’s meticulous, he’s not. She eyes his work and bites her tongue. I’m proud of her for both.
Morning sun edges through the window in slices, they frame us. (Inappropriate, probably) music plays in our background. We work together quietly.
I stand at the counter. My hands are busy, my heart is full.
I’m thinking about the parade we’ll go to, the friends we’ll laugh with, the memories I hope we’re creating.
I’m list making, heart watching, and lemon juicing. That’s what we women do, isn’t it?
During this busy time of holiday preparations – especially this one where we’re honoring our country, the people who serve it, our family, our friends, and the people we feed – it’s so very easy to forget how much we do, how strong we are.
Women in uniform shoulder-to-shoulder with men twice their size.
Single mothers stretching every minute and every fiber and every dollar.
New mothers within a learning curve so big and so high.
Women who quit their careers to raise their families, then pick themselves up to reenter the work force a decade or two later.
Women who stay in their careers, flexing and shifting the needs and wants of two very different kinds of bosses.
Women who care for children with clipped wings.
Women who hold babies in their hearts.
Women with a baby on one hip, a toddler wrapped around a leg, maneuvering a buffet line.
Dinner makers (and orderers), party coordinators (and goers), grocery shoppers (and forgetters).
Team moms, classroom volunteers, carpool drivers, cheerleaders.
Diaper changers, homework reminders, late night workers, early risers.
The list goes on, and is literally breath taking, and exhausting.
I remember my friend Lisa saying that women make the world go round. Before I had children, I’d laugh and smile and agree with her almost wholeheartedly.
But today, ten years into mothering, standing in my kitchen with lemon juice drizzling down my wrist, three children in my care, a to-do list a mile long, with nothing more than crossed fingers and experience telling me that somehow this will all get done, I can’t help but nix the “almost”.
If you want anyone on your side, it’s women. We’re our own brand of strong.
So cheers to us this 4th. I’m sending you all a virtual high five, a hug, a cocktail, and a place to put your feet up. You deserve it.