October 10, 2013 by Katia
“Well, which one is it going to be?” They ask me super politely.
I stand there showered with so many personal anxiety triggers: a. I’m holding up the line. b. I’m choosing. c. I’m choosing between me and my kids.
Let me paint you an infographic of my moral dilemma:
I am represented by a travel pillow. My kids are represented by a teddy bear. I’m at the Blissdom Conference in Toronto last week and I am choosing my swag.
The travel pillow has a lot of super special features and it’s the comfiest travel pillow in the universe. The fact that I don’t travel much is being deemed irrelevant and tossed aside by my imagination. The travel pillow is a promise of self fulfilment, it’s potential encapsulated in a dark little crescent. My spirit is already travelling to all those future conferences and speaking engagements that would merit the use of the world’s comfiest travel pillow. My grandma’s sister, who I called auntie, is the opposite of self indulgence embodied in a person. She would occasionally buy my grandma an item of necessity such as a bra and explain: this is the kind of thing a person won’t buy for themselves… In her WWII shaped book, buying a bra spells luxury. While I am not a self denying ascetic by any means I’ve always felt the same way about travel pillows. Just the idea of buying one for myself makes me feel like one of those “what-do-you-get-a-person-who-already-has-everything’ Kardashianoid type human beings.
And then there’s the Teddy bear, who bears a different kind of promise, that of my children’s excitement, smiles and laughter. And digging a little deeper will reveal yet another layer of significance, the bear is also a sacrificial lamb – mommy’s token of guilt and regret for missing school pick up and bedtime today. There’s so much potential in the bear too, that of happiness that of appeasement.
“So basically you’re asking me to choose between me and my kids” I ask with a big smile and a nervous giggle. The ladies laugh understandingly. I know there are some moms among them. “Your kid doesn’t know you had a choice” says one of them “just sayin’”. I know exactly what she’s saying. Mommy deserves a break. And they won’t know. Neither will my husband. I could just grab this “future speaking engagements potential” and walk away, but I’ll know. I’ll know that I chose me.
There’s a good choose you and a bad choose you. Sometimes choosing you is a necessity. A sanity saver. Sometimes choosing you is just plain selfish.
Once in public I saw a parent choosing themselves over their child. I was on the subway commuting back from work and in the car with me was a guy in a suit with a stroller. His toddler that he was picking up from a downtown daycare, I would assume. The father was towering over the stroller listening to his ipod the whole time never once speaking to the child. I knew it then and I know now that I was judging based on external parameters only, but it made me sad.
So I chose the travel pillow. So how come we ended up with this?
Easy. My travel pillow was Blissdom itself.
A couple of things before you go.
B. This post is a Finish The Sentence Friday post on the topic: Once in public I saw someone…
If you haven’t been reading these ladies, I’m sorry too.
Stephanie at Mommy, For Real
Kristi at Finding Ninee
Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic