By Cindy Jones
Let me begin by saying that I love my job as a full-time mother to four boys. I am totally fulfilled, happy, and satisfied. However, my resume is not getting any longer these days; I'm not getting any raises, bonuses, or promotions; and it comes as no surprise that I was not among those named "Unsung Heroes of the Year" by my neighborhood newspaper. I don't mean to be pushy, but if someone would just nominate me for some kind of award, I could put it on my resume and it would really be fun for me. I'd even help write the nominating application!
The foremost candidate for such an award would be someone who does not seek media attention. That's me for sure. I do not seek media attention at all, especially not first thing in the morning, when I'm slinking around town dropping my kids off. Since this often happens before I have seen the inside of a shower, I am usually wearing my husband's extra-giant-size sweatshirt and yesterday's leggings--clothing selected to blend into any background or woodwork. Photograph me at your peril.
Second, this award would honor people who have done something for the neighborhood. That's easy. Property values in my neighborhood would plummet if my boys were murderers, arsonists, or thieves. Since they are not, our local property values are stable, thanks to me. Part of my daily job is to watch my children and make sure that they do not start any fires. I keep them from killing each other and their friends, and we practice not stealing things from the grocery store at least once a week.
What goal have I accomplished? My goal is always the same: to get my children through the day alive. Short of that, it is to make sure that they are alive until my husband gets home. This is not as easy as it sounds, since my three year old's goal for each day is to escape from the house with the car keys and operate a motor vehicle. You see what I face.
Finally, an award like this generally goes to someone who has overcome obstacles. Now, I'm not really sure what kind of obstacles we're talking about here. Are they the physical kind? Well, I have to hurdle over blocks, mini-vans, in-play bumble balls, Barneys, and little tykes to get to the baby's bottle that has been missing since yesterday, and we're not sure if that's milk in there or alien fetuses.
Or are they referring to the "challenged" kind of obstacle? If so, I need to know how many we are allowed to include because my family is really challenged. We are morning-challenged, as noted above. We are also bedtime-challenged, sharing-challenged, eating-challenged, obeying-challenged, potty-challenged, and serenity-challenged. The biggie is that we are neatness-challenged. But we are not snack-challenged.
So, if you are convinced that I am the kind of hero you'd like to see get an award, let me know. But don't call us on the phone, because we are temporarily telephone-challenged. One of my sons answers the phone and won't hand it over to anyone else without a monstrous tantrum, during which nobody can hear to talk anyway. Drop me a line. We do get our mail--except when someone lets the dog out, on which days our mailman is delivery-challenged.
Cindy Jones lives in Dallas , where she is a full-time chauffeur for her four children (all boys). Any awards will have to be tossed through the window of her minivan, as she no longer has time for ceremonies or acceptance speeches.