So I spent hours yesterday at the elementary school with my paper snowflakes, helium tanks, balloon ribbons and spray snow. There were at least a dozen other mothers there, all united in a spirit of accomplishment as we transformed the spaghetti-scented cafeteria into a Winter Wonderland for our daughters and their dads.
It was a labor of love and, by the time we were finished, no one wanted to leave.
Mostly because we knew there'd be hungry kids and husbands at home. Possibly some dishes in the sink. And that, after we found the missing pink leggings and tied the ribbons around the pigtails, we'd watch the little girls go off to the ball with our Prince Charmings, while we sat looking into the ashes (or the greasy pizza boxes) with only the rats (and brothers) for company.
Anyone else out there ever feel like Cinderella? Without the glass slipper?
So much of my life is spent buying gifts for parties I will not attend. Practicing spelling words for tests I won't take. Driving to fun afterschool activities only to be left in the car.
It's a busy stage of life I'm in. My kids need (and want) my hovering presence a little bit less. But still require clothing, feeding, transportation and comfort on demand. Sometimes I feel like the unpaid event planner--scheduling the activities, gathering the needed supplies, setting up and putting away--but not actually enjoying the party.
Maybe it's just me. Or maybe I'm just due for a paradigm shift. I need to get over my Cinderella complex and realize that I'm not the princess in the story anymore.
Besides, fairy godmothers wear much more comfortable shoes.