A Different Person Ago


In November 2002, I left my job at Harvard Business School to become a full-time mother.  I left a bustling Annual Fund office, travels to New York and San Francisco, and elegant cocktail parties where I courted high-level donors.   My colleagues threw me a fabulous shower, and I was on my way into the wild and unknown jungle of motherhood.  I can remember a co-worker giving me a case of unopened breast pads and looking dumbfounded when she explained that they were “for when I start leaking everywhere.”  I was soon to become a dairy bar for the next three years, and little did I know how many more cases of those little numbers I would go through.  It was the week before Thanksgiving, and I was due with our first baby on December 2.  Even though she did not arrive until December 7, I was ready to be home nesting and waiting.

Last night I had the good fortune to do a trunk show in the South End, a few blocks over from our old Worcester Street apartment.  I arrived with my jewelry and was soon surrounded by a crew of just-married and soon-to-be-mom women.  They spoke of walking from work, taking the T, and carpooling to Trader Joe’s to grocery shop.  They chatted about where office holiday parties would be held, where they would meet for happy hour this Thursday,  and complimented the hostess on her apartment-sized Christmas tree, which stood approximately 5 feet tall.  They were stylish, youthful, and put together.  The biggest drama came at the end of the evening when the husband of the hostess came home with their 4 year-old yellow lab.  Naturally, he went straight for the food, and the tone of the event felt suddenly overcome with canine chaos.  Girls moved into action, moving brownies from the coffee table to the counter, and guarding paper plates filled with an assortment of appetizers.   One woman lunged for her red wine glass as the dog suddenly stuck his snout up to it for a sniff.  I thought of my three little Indians,  my overflowing pile of laundry, the likelihood that every toilet  in my house probably hadn’t been flushed all day, and mentally quoted an infamous Virginia Slims billboard, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

I sent a text to my husband when I had a free moment, “I really miss the South End.”   It occurred to me on my way home later that night that my city life was a different person ago.  We moved away so that we didn’t have to spend 30 minutes trying to park our second car or to haul groceries up 4 flights of stairs.  Leaving was hard, but in the end, I was probably never suited to be a city girl.  My husband is from Vermont, so he was out of his element as well.  Any sign of traffic sends him into a frenzy, even now.  He gets right on his smart phone looking for the best routes, while simultaneously searching for WBZ’s traffic report on the 3’s.

I loved our roof deck, our fun parties, and walking everywhere.   I’ll admit, I felt a little envious of the well-kept apartment with not a speck of dust or single item out-of-place.  No signs of hand prints on the walls, no backpacks strewn about, no preschool art work on display…so peaceful and calm.  Yet in its own wonderful way, ten years as a mother has helped me find my own sense of what peaceful and calm means.  Someone entering my home might not see this on its’ surface, given that on any given day two out of my three children will likely be fighting, dishes will have been left out, and a stray glue stick or dried-up marker will have been left out too long.  Living in chaos and seeing life through my three children has helped me to be calmer, more patient, and more flexible.  It’s taught me to laugh more, show lots of affection, and try my best.

This Friday, that baby, Whitney, turns ten.  While it sounds totally cliché to say it, I simply cannot believe it.  As the lines on my face become more etched, friends begin losing parents, marriages start to dissolve, and families face economic hardships, I count my blessings every day.  Perspective offers so much.   I’ve evolved, learned, and been markedly changed by motherhood.  A decade may be gone, but I have arrived.


3 thoughts on “A Different Person Ago

  1. You really are an awesome writer. I love this piece. Gordon Spater Kurgo Products/Motivation Design, LLC. phone 978-465-5678 x101 :: fax 815-642-0182 :: gspater@kurgo.com :: 2D Fanaras Dr. :: Salisbury, MA 01952 Video: skype (gspater) and facetime (gspater@kurgo.com) Go Together…www.kurgo.com Follow us Facebook : Youtube

    From: thesuburbanchronicles Reply-To: thesuburbanchronicles Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2012 17:42:25 +0000 To: Gordie Spater Subject: [New post] A Different Person Ago

    The Suburban Chronicles ~ The reward is in the journey. posted: “In November 2002, I left my job at Harvard Business School to become a full-time mother. I left a bustling Annual Fund office, travels to New York and San Francisco, and elegant cocktail parties where I courted high-level donors. My colleagues threw “

  2. A decade may be gone, but i have arrived.

    Okay. This is it. I’ve finally decided to post. You are an amazing writer, Brooke. Proud to know you. I have experienced all of what you have said in the last year. Looking back at what we, the daughters of the first feminists, had at our fingertips and now we begin to understand that each decade marks a different piece of what a woman is.

    And, yes I will put pen to paper soon to share more.

    Happy 10th momma birthday Brooke. Gordie, so glad you found this one. 😉 look forward to the next decade.

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