I have just finished The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer, a novelist I adore, and you may have to stop me because I have more to say than anyone has the time to read, but being frank, as one can be while blogging, I have to confess, I didn't like the book primarily because I DO NOT AGREE with this premise that our time raising our children is anything like a "ten year nap." Also, it was not at all funny. (But then neither is this blog post.)
What disappoints me on a large scale (like bigger than a billboard), is the fact that women continue to act as though raising children is not of any significance, pining away for something worthwhile to do. (Um, gee, I don't think there EXISTS more worthwhile.) The characters in the book are all, mostly, aching for a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Paying no attention whatsoever to the reality of their lives.
What happened to me the other day: I come back from the grocery store. I have a car full of groceries including milk, cheese, frozen yogurt--you know, COLD things--and I discovered as I put the baby in the car seat at the store that she is soaking wet (through her pants). I am feeling a great senseur of urgency about my work, necessity, and, of course, purpose. I need to get the groceries in the house, unpack them, get the baby dry and clean, and entertain the toddler meanwhile or at the very least keep him from destroying himself or something in arm's reach and just at that moment, a door-to-door Sierra Club guy walks up the driveway and wants to talk to me, and I think to myself, HE thinks I can talk to him because I am simply "staying home."
I told him I don't have the money. My husband does. When he persisted, I told him I'm not sure we even like the Sierra Club. I said, AGAIN, I have a soaking wet baby and some thawing frozen food in my car. This may not make the national news, but it's as pressing and necessary as anything. And please, won't the women wake up from the thorny stem of feminism that has poked them into slumber like a reverse fairy tale, and realize that life is not happening SOMEWHERE ELSE. It is happening here, among the detritus of home life, as well as in the boardroom, and that somewhere, food needs refrigeration and that if you are the one to keep it cold, you have a purpose. A very fine purpose, in fact. Keeping frozen yogurt cold and edible may, actually, make this world go round. Never mind the act of service in cleaning a tiny, baby bum. (But p.s. if you pay attention you will be rewarded with a sense of purpose.)
Coming off of soap box now. Stepping down. Walking away from the silence of the computer.