Early in the afternoon, I was on the floor of Kohl's with Willa, feeling silly that 6 years after a national tragedy that rocked all of our psyche's, my biggest worry at the moment was finding her shoes that fit that didn't have Dora or Disney princessness all over them. Willa, of course, was partial to the pink sparkly ballet slippers, "SHOES! mama! SHOES," she yelled as she tugged off her socks.
Six years ago I was in a room with volunteers and staff at Habitat for Humanity who happened to be from the Mid-East, listening to discussion about exercising caution when out in a small southern American town. Then I packed and drove a 12 passenger van to Indianapolis to participate in the Habitat anniversary celebration, and to drive home my co-workers stranded by the chaos of air travel. I remember sitting in a hotel room, finally alone and processing what had happened, watching the news anchors talking about finding survivors in the wreckage with tears streaming down my face. "Hope-hope, Hope-hope" was the sound of my heartbeat.
"Can I interrupt for for a few minutes?"
"Well, I want to talk about a fear that I had today."
[This is where I should have waited for an affirmative, but didn't.]
"You know that I would really like to be a stay at home mom. But after today, I'm not sure I could do it. I mean, she cried for 2 hours straight. At the end of the day, I feel defeated and exhausted. I need you to tell me that it was so hard because she was home sick, and extra crabby. I need to hear that I'd be a good stay at home mom."
Jim looked at me and took a deep breath in. "Knowing the kind of person you are, I think you'll be a great stay at home mom. You'll plan trips to the library and the gardens and the orchard. I don't think you'll be the "watching soap operas while the kids play" kind of stay at home mom. You probably won't even at home much."
I sat at the table crying from the generosity of his affirmation.
"And your headache probably didn't help much either."
"Well, it did feel like it was going to explode most of the day."
"Now, I love you, but get out, I've got to study."