How far would I go for the people I love? Pretty far.
I'll go to Disneyland for my kids. I promise you, even as a child I had no big driving desire to go there.
I'll go to the Zoo in Houston in the summer for my kids. This one hits so many of my things I don't prefer it stands on its own.
I'll fly or drive to different places and wear different corporately-prescribed outfits and chat up potential clients in order to help my husband's business.
I'll bite my tongue bloody when my dad compares David Axelrod to Rove on Father's Day. I'll bite it bloody again when one more time we rehash the Time Flavia and I Double Dog Dared The Boys that we could jump in a mud puddle and they couldn't and let's just say the girls won that round. I bite it because I fully intend to rehash every single parenting merit badge I'll have on my sash when my kids are grown.
I'll count to 8000 and hold my temper and not confront someone who just insulted my husband and offended me, because my husband doesn't prefer to confront.
I'll move to Texas from the amazing Gold Coast of Marvelous Massachusetts, because it's the best thing for the family, even though it means leaving behind my job, my career, my career contacts and network, and the adult life I built there. Even though I am unsure what I will find in Texas and how I will build a life here. I will struggle for a few years, trying to find new and different footing, and then, will begin to find something grand and wonderful.
But those are just things, events, happenings.
What about what it takes to do these things? In the end, it's about what matters most, and in the end, in my life, it seems that my relationships with my family are what matters most. That's not easy, and it runs against a variety of conflicting messages about who I should be as a professional, a woman, a modern woman, myself, a mom, a wife, a friend, and so forth.
What's extraordinary about it is that it happens at all...that we can find within ourselves any degree of selflessness and do for others. What's extraordinary about it is that it happens out of love.
What is this capacity and how often do we truly appreciate the amazing compromise to self that it is to be in a long-term relationship of any type?
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Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert
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