Saturday, August 16, 2008

My First Real KISS

This post is my inaugural entry into Scribbit's August Write Away contest. The month's topic is "first kiss." Enjoy!

I had my first real KISS when I was 30. Yep, 30. Not the wet, sloppy, slip-of-the-tongue kind of kiss, though my stomach churned as if it was making butter and I wrung my hands like a washcloth. This was the kind of KISS that slaps you into reality, the what's-important-in-life kind of kiss...the "Keep It Simple, Sister" kind of kiss.

Apparently, I told everyone I was going to be a doctor or maybe a lawyer. (Never mind that I don't remember doing this.) I was on the right path, what with a full scholarship to attend University and a degree in three years instead of four. Marriage and a baby didn't slow me down as I reached out for the next higher rung on the corporate ladder, working long hours and volunteering for extra committees and special projects. Seven years later, the blessing of another baby was thrilling, yet I felt the tiniest twinge, like a massive vessel being pulled by a couple of tugboats in the direction opposite of its chartered course. I returned to work three months after her birth renewed yet determined to "have it all."

Two years later I found myself at home again, taking leave to nuzzle up to another little miracle. Now, we were outnumbered with three beautiful princesses! The twelve weeks of leave flew by like hurricane winds in the tropics. The tug was more pronounced this time and I resented that I couldn't tarry a bit longer. An additional two years passed, and I could hardly believe it when daughter number four was in my arms. Holding her, I was a distressed ship being drug back to port, willingly. My condition was not fatal--it was fantastic! I decided I could "have it all," but not in the way I originally thought. In my mind, "all" became a successful career as a stay-at-home mom balancing a tighter budget instead of babysitters and executive briefings. I knew I needed to simplify. "Keep It Simple, Sister" became my mantra.

Returning to work the last time was dreadful. Leaving my girls was unspeakably difficult, but so was the thought of leaving my second family with whom I had spent more waking hours in the last eight years than my own flesh and blood! However, I gave my two weeks' notice within a month and I've been docking in port ever since, raising our four lovely daughters on a significantly reduced income. Not sure how long we'll manage to live this simpler life (note I didn't say "simple" life!), but I'm enjoying the extended stay.


Scribbit said...

I like this angle--it's unique and was exactly what I was hoping for with a topic like this. I like hearing a bit of an introduction to you, I feel as if I know you better now.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

I loved this! I'm joining you in the "simpler" life - redefining what having it "all" really means!


Wild Squirrel said...

Thanks, ladies! I'm glad you stopped by :)

Gabrielle said...

I keep it simple too sister! I liked your story! There is NOTHING that compares to being there for the foundation of your children. They grow up fast and I don't want to miss a moment :-) You made the best decision to KISS!

Wild Squirrel said...

Thanks, Garbrielle, for the nice comments. :)

MoziEsmé said...

Great take on KISS! I could use some of this kissing myself . . . :)