Last Thursday morning, son #2 was bouncing around the living room, relishing the attention of both parents after his big brother left for kindergarten. He announced, "I a Alligator!" and threw himself face first between the armchair and the ottoman, wrenching both shoulders and smacking his chin on the floor. He let a mighty, non-reptilian wail and ran to me, gathering his pacifier and security blanket on the way.
"Wow," said my husband, "Getting out all the big guns."
That, my friends, is true power. Being able to soothe and comfort another living being (with a little help from laytex and polarfleece), just using your own maternal energy. Job #1 for me, these days, is chasing around two boys and, apparently, I'm doing alright.
I'm still thinking about the Goddess thing. Jenn's comment coupled with an NYT Sunday Magazine article, "The Femivore's Dilemma," a few weeks ago about stay-at-home moms who raise chickens, and the fantastic discussion last week made me wonder why can't empowerment come from within.
Why are we (yes--first person--I'm as guilty of this as the next mother hen) seduced with the idea of being super-woman, invincible, divine? Guys are sold the "happiness thru toys" message, while women are targeted with the "happiness thru self-improvement" meme. By choosing language such as goddess, we put the bar so high we are constantly falling short, berating ourselves for not working hard enough, not changing enough lives, not having pretty enough hair. Not tending a chicken coop and educating the children. Yeah, I know goddess is just a word, but words are very powerful things and we should be able to come up with something as compelling but more reasonable.
Why can't we revel in the powers we do have: to teach, to construct, to write, to create, to nurture, etc etc. Celebrate the already existing and build on that, rather than strive for something with high-disappointment potential. I'm not saying we shouldn't have ambition or challenge ourselves, but I just don't understand the need for such impossible standards.
Again--this rant is directed at me as much as anyone else. That's why Jenn's comment was so sweet and common-sense, and why the chicken article bugged me--take pride in what you do do, instead of cooking up some additional tasks that just wear you out and down. You are still a valuable individual, even if you have a short to-do list (and keeping that list short requires serious strength!).
So, yeah, ix-nay on the oddess-gay. I'm open to suggestions for better terms, but I'm ready to retire this one. Luckily I have a source for local eggs...cluck, cluck.