This one's going back five years but I never forgot it.
When Logan was still at school, there were plenty of other class mothers who were the professional type. They were alway on the run, wearing fancy tailored suits or official looking uniforms. I often felt a bit in awe of them and part of me wished that I had some sort of career identity too. And I often imagined that they must be sort of scornful of me and the other SAHMs. There was nothing I'd rather do than be at home looking after my house and family, yet I still felt intimidated by the way I imagined the 'professional' mums must be looking at me.
One of Logan's friend's mothers was a dental technician who worked in the clinic which services all of the school children in our district. Whenever any us took our kids in, we were bound to see her there in her crisp white uniform, either using the drills or giving advice about teeth cleaning. She was one of the ones I just a little in awe of and envious of.
Anyway, in 2003, just when I'd decided to begin homeschooling, Logan had been invited around to play with her son for the first and only time. When I went to drop him off, I had a chat with his friend's mother. We both mentioned the shortcomings we perceived in the school system and I told her of the decision we'd made to homeschool Logan, let Emma finish her year at kindy which she enjoyed and homeschool her too. And what she said to me nearly bowled me over.
It went something like this. "I wish with all my heart that I had the nerve to do something like that, and I really admire you but I'd never take the plunge. I know that you write books so you could manage homeschooling in a snap but I don't feel that clever and confident. All I can do is mix a filling. Big deal. All I can do is watch and admire people like you, because I see several homeschooled kids in the clinic and I take my hat off to their parents."
Well, needless to say I drove off with my head in a whirl. And all this time later I think that's probably been one of the significant conversations of my life. Whenever it occurs to me that people must look down on me for being 'just' a stay-at-home-mum, I remember, "No, that's not necessarily true." And whenver I sum a person up as having absolutely everything going for them and plenty of confidence, I remember, "That's not necessarily true, either." You just never know, do you?