Several years back, Max brought home his homework report with three signature lines. Under one he wrote, “Anishals here.” Under the second he wrote, “Your dog’s name.” Under the third he wrote, “Your maiden name here.”
The other night my Max texted me. “I’m really stressed out.” I asked him, “Why honey? What’s going on?” He said, “I have too many things to do… I don’t have time for anything I like and I’m stressed out.” Dammit.
My kid is a junior in high school, with a ridiculously good GPA. He started a jazz band when he was 14 years old. He plays several instruments. He is an artist. He is in honors classes. He works. He never. Freaking. Stops. And I owe him the biggest damn apology. I am so, so very sorry. I did that in high school, too. I still do that, now.
I am an overachiever, for sure. But I do not expect my children, or anyone else in my life to do what I do or be who I am. I am well aware that I constantly walk the balance beam between fucking falling into the stress-ball abyss and namaste.
People sometimes say to me, “I don’t know how you do it all.” The answer is, I don’t. I don’t do it all. Or even half of it all.
Maybe it looks like I do. But trust me. There are many unanswered emails and texts. There are many books unread. There are bags of dry cleaning to be done in the trunk of my car. There is laundry on my floor. I never finished my wedding album. I never will, because 20 years later, I got divorced. That’s sort of how this overachiever does it all.
But that’s okay. What I try to do, every day, is put my anishals where they are supposed to go. I know every dog’s name that I have ever had the privilege to live with. As for maiden names? There are no maidens living here. My home, probably a lot like yours, has an overachiever-stressed-out-divorced mom raising a couple of sons, trying to make this world a little better. That’s not a job for a maiden. That’s a job for a g*damn tired Type A mama warrior and some strong coffee. Like me. Like you.