Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inside My Bubble

Ok, let me first tell you how disappointed I was to return home after dropping off the girls and find Eion awake and waiting for me. Would that he had done me a solid and slept in today. It is really the only thing about homeschooling him that gets old - no breaks. (Well, almost none. Tim did take over the educational duties so I could play tennis yesterday.) But while E finishes up his Cheerios, I've got a few minutes to type.

It's interview season for the residency program at Tim's hospital. While I am largely unaffected by this process, I do get the chance to meet many of the potentials at the weekly mixers (that's so sorority but I can't find a better word this morning) that the hospital hosts for them each week during the application process. Having no knowledge of the program really, I generally chat it up with the recruits about Roanoke, living in a smallish town, and what the transition is like going from North to South. [On that last one, I am always surprised how many people are concerned that they will not be accepted here because they are Northerners.]

The conversation invariably, and naturally I guess, ends up at a point where they ask What I Do. When I tell them that I stay home with the kids, their reactions routinely remind me that I live in a, very nice thanks, bubble.

I would say the overwhelming majority of my friends also are stay at home Moms, with a sprinkling of stay at home Dads too. Being a SAM is totally normal around here. But when I tell the young residents-to-be What I Do, more than a few look at me with clear surprise, as though I am some exotic creature who time-travelled to the present from the 1950's. Most aren't sure how to respond and, somewhat awkwardly, say, "How nice" when their facial expression and overall reaction say something completely different.

I think many of the women just can't see how someone who was born and raised in the era of modern feminism could have chosen, and by the looks of things, happily so, such an antiquated path. It probably wouldn't help them understand to add that since we were engaged, when I was 23 and barely out in the working world, Tim and I had already decided this was the plan.

Sometimes I try to explain why it makes sense for our family in financial terms or how if I held a 9-5 kind of job I would never see Tim. (Though that second explanation was lost entirely on the woman who was willing to accept a residency in a different town than her husband, placing them apart for years.) Mostly I just smile and leave them baffled as to why I seem so at peace with something they find so foreign.

PS Clearly, I didn't get this done before we started school for the day but I have to tell you how Eion has this sense for knowing when I am at the end of my rope. On those days, he always provides the best behavior and learns the most, giving me reason to soldier on. The E knocked it out of the park today. And just came over to hug me.

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