Seriously, do you ever cry at work? And if you do, why? Under what circumstances? What makes you cry?
Well, I will tell you about all the times that I do cry. I cry at funerals, baptisms, at church, sad movies, not so sad movies, things that make my children sad, things that make my mother sad. I cry a lot at funerals. Even for people that I don’t know. I cry at retirement parties. When I was pregnant, I cried when I saw Tarzan, the cartoon. The Pixar movie, Up, caused me to need a very long nap - the only remedy to a good cry. I cry when they sing the Star Spangled Banner at the ball park. I tear up with such regularity that my kids can predict when the waterworks will begin. Yes, I am an emotional being and very good at crying at touching moments.
But, I never cry at work.
Not when I get yelled at
Not when I mess up
Not when I do something embarrassing
Not when I missed that last flight to Singapore and was a whole day late for meetings
No, not ever.
That was something I asked myself after one crazy episode when my boss shouted at me, at the top of her voice, at full volume. I did cry, about work, once… When I did not get the promotion I wanted… When I came home, my daughter patted me on the back and told me this is what God wants for me, and I broke down. I did not do my crying at work. I saved it for home.
Why don’t I cry work? Because very simply, it’s not personal. Work is not my life and it’s not the real stuff that truly matters at the end of the day. What truly matters are my family, births, deaths, God, love, and hope. That is what I save my tears for.
Dear Readers, This is prom season, and I have a hard time condoning the modern day prom. This is likely a controversial statement but bear with me as I make my case. I can only guess that many of you may serve on prom committees and have spent countless hours during this annual rite of passage. However, I believe that each educational experience that my child has during those crucial teen years, should be intentional, purposeful and God centered. Experiences that make them better adults, better people and in my son's case, a perfect gentleman.
At the school where we attend, there is a formal dinner and dance event that the high-schoolers prepare for each spring. There is a protocol class, formal dance lessons, and etiquette lessons. Many funny stories came home following the first of these lessons. For instance, there are many foods that are difficult to eat with your fork firmly in your left hand and the knife in the other. Precise timing must be exercised when assisting a young lady to a dining table, lest the chair be taken from under her unexpectedly, resulting in a pile of pink tulle on the gym floor. A gentleman must present his arm for the lady to take so that she may be assisted down the sweeping mansion stairs. Counting, while humming the Blue Danube is helpful for conquering the waltz, ditto for the two-step, polka, the occasional quadrille, and the foxtrot. Elementary .... but yet a puzzlement to the freshman class. I am pleased to say that my son got all this right.
There is a part of the evening set aside for a mother-son dance. It is an easy two-step, but something that I had not done in a long time. While I am a good dancer, I do need a good male lead to make me look graceful... at least that was my mind set when I was escorted on to the dance floor. Instead, I found that my teenage son was rather good at the two-step. He steered me away from bumping into other dancers, and kept time to the classical quartet. I think he is has learned the mechanics of his role a a gentleman, took charge, and owned each action.... whether on the dance floor, the dinner table or this next instance......
Every year, partner assignments are made and announced with a bit of fanfare. We knew well ahead of time whom he was going to escort down the grand staircase. However, due to an unexpected illness, there was one additional young lady who was going to miss out having an escort. Around mid afternoon, the host called and requested that my son be assigned the honor of escorting a very pretty blond, in addition to his original assignment. This was a last minute change and when all the parties arrived, the parents felt we had to explain everything to the young ladies involved, clear it up, and there were bits of small talk all around, by the adults, to compensate for what we assume would be confusion for the teens. Just then...
Finding his voice and knowing his role, my son cut right through the adult chatter and with a firm voice, said,
"Kaitlin, may please I have the honor of being your escort?"
She replied with a shy nod and a barely audible, "yes".
There was perfect silence afterwards.
The real deal about what it’s like to be a working mom. I often hear the following phrase, “I don’t know how you manage it all.“ The reality is, I don’t even know. Deep down inside, I’m wondering the same thing about them. I have two kids, a wonderful husband, a normal suburban life. I’ve always been achievement oriented and simply love to tackle things that sometimes make other peoples eyes glaze over… in boredom. I’m a researcher and my view on the technical stuff is that nothing is difficult, merely complex.
Flat Stanley at the Changing of the Guards.