The Good Life - It's All In How You Look At It
For years they exchanged common pleasantries as they passed each
other by. The frazzled looking mother of eight sat on her front
porch, keeping a watchful eye on the youngest of her growing brood.
The career woman was usually pressed for time, rushing by on her
way to catch a train that would take her to her 9 to 5 job in the
business world. The two women barely shared more than a smile and
a quick hello, but each had specific thoughts on each other's lifestyle.
The childless career woman felt a little sorry for her neighbor.
What a handful, for a mother to have more children than there is
time to take care of them, thought the world wise woman. No time
for anything but cooking, cleaning and raising a family - with nothing
to show for it but paychecks that never stretch far enough, tuition
bills that have no end in sight, and a distressed house decorated
in greasy handprints smudged on walls. And, let's not forget the
washers and dryers whose cycles run 24/7.
Where is the joy in several hungry mouths to feed, while trying
to keep up with several different personalities in need?
To Ms. Professional, this mom was a living example of the old woman
who lived in a shoe; which made her all the more thankful she had
her self-imposed life of luxury. With freedom to spend her time
the way she wanted, with no dependents to tie her down, her neat
and tidy home stayed just that--neat and tidy. Dinners in front
of the TV or at her favorite restaurant were just what her pampered
lifestyle offered. Her phone calls never had to be cut short because
a hormonal teen-ager suddenly had to make a crisis call to her girlfriend
who lived right across the street. She'd wave a quick hello to the
ever-expectant mother and knew she had chosen the perfect life.
Now, Mrs. Mom had her own thoughts. She'd watch as Ms. 9 to 5 hurried
on her way and she, too, felt a pang of pity. How lonely it must
be, she thought, to have no ties to the heartstrings of little ones.
How deafening the silence must be without the noise of little voices
to keep the music of life flowing along. With no babies to snuggle
close to your heart, with no children to cuddle and save from monsters
under the bed, with no chocolate kisses from toddlers who squeeze
your neck tight and proudly proclaim: "I love you THIS much!!"
while stretching out two stubby little hands filled with dandelions--with
no teen-agers to bring you to the brink of insanity, only to renew
your faith in family as you help them overcome an obstacle and they
say: "Thanks mom, I'm glad I listened." A mother looks
back at all these treasured memories and wonders how life could
ever be fulfilling without them.
Mother Hen watches as the diva of downtown employment is out of
sight. She hopes that one day the solitary lady will find more than
business suits, a quiet house, and a round trip train ticket, to
fill the void of an empty life. Years passed by, the mother's children
grew up and the workingwoman retired. The two bumped into each other
one day by chance. They began a conversation that would end up surprising
both of them. The woman, who long ago chose a career over children,
admitted to the, now, gray haired grandma that she always took pity
on her, what with all those kids to care for, it sure had to be
a chaotic life. The grandmother of 22 gave the woman a sly smile
and with a twinkle in her eye replied, "Why, what a strange
coincidence, for it was I who always felt sorry for you."
The moral of this story?
The path to greener pastures can often be found in your own backyard
when you live your life on your own terms and treasure the benefits
of your heart's desires.