Shadows

482

I hope he remembers me, that girl he married, because I’m going to be back soon. Well, sort of. I’m definitely older and a little less rough around the edges. I’m pretty sure I’m smarter and hopefully kinder. I guess, in all honesty, I never really left; I’ve just been living in the shadow of that other woman.

You know the one, that lady named Mom. She’s really good at bandaging knees and wiping noses without getting grossed out. She puts wild flowers (weeds really) from children in a vase and places it on the kitchen counter, even though she’s allergic to them. She drives the family taxi, dropping off and picking up kids like a pro. But, many of her services aren’t really needed anymore.

It’s time for me, the young woman she overshadowed, to take the reins again; and I’m a pretty nervous about it. I mean, I’m looking forward to this new adventure, but I’m scared too. There is a lot to figure out; a lot to remember about myself. I hope he remembers. I hope he can recall all of those things he loved about me before I retreated. I hope we discover new things that we love about each other and that we find some new adventures to go on.  He’s been living in someone else’s shadow too. I really love the man that’s been here, but I’m excited to reunite with that guy I married. I hope I still recognize him when he moves to the front. Stepping out of the shadow is hard.

It’s been pretty comfortable living in the mom’s shadow. It seems like she knows what she’s doing most of the time. She understands her role, excels at her tasks. Most of all, she loves her job. But things have been gradually changing over the past few years. Lately, she’s been feeling like she’s about to be laid off. Her hours have definitely been cut down to part-time; and she is feeling a little confused, useless and sad. All of the changes make it necessary for me to re-emerge. I feel really bad for her, even though somehow, it seems like I’ve been waiting for this. It feels like a part of me has been eager for her to finish the job, so I could come out to play. Perhaps that’s a bit selfish, but there is some truth to it. There have been times when I wanted her to be free of her responsibilities so I could do what I wanted. I’m sorry for the times I felt that way, her job has been really important.

We have both been feeling emotional about all of the uncertainties ahead. Sometimes, I cry with her and for her. I’m afraid to let her move into the background, I’ve been living in her shadow for a long time. But when this happens, she tells me: “It’s okay, we knew this was a temporary assignment, I’m happy for you , that it’s your turn. Don’t be afraid, you’ll figure it out. Just like you figured out how to let me do my job. And don’t worry, I’ll still be around. It will just be…different.” She’s such a mom.

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