This weekend I ran into a friend of mine at the grocery store. We were trying to get our family’s weekly food shopping in before lunch and as a result were both a little harried.
Her carriage was filled with 2 large holiday pumpkins (only 7 dollars each!) she would be using to decorate her front porch and now she was going back to the refrigerated section of the store to start the actual shopping.
I had already passed through the refrigerated section but was just now realizing that I had forgotten to pick up a carton of Sour Cream needed for Tuesday’s dinner. Darn.
I sighed as I showed her my grocery list. Even this doesn’t help me, I complained and then laughed as she showed me hers which was equally as long.
You know, I said, It’s not fair, no one ever told me that every weekend for the rest of my life, I’d have to organize what food my family would need, go to a store, gather the food, bring it home, put it away, and then throughout the week take it out again to assemble meals which then needed to be cleaned up after.
“It’s truly a daunting task that I’m not sure I voluntarily signed up for.”
“It is,” commiserated my friend, “and there’s no end to it because if we don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.”
We looked at each other, recognizing the inevitability of our situation, that we were actresses in a play from which we could not excuse ourselves. We had no understudies and the proverbial show had to, must always go on. Food gathering was our role. As the mother of my children it is I who cares for and nourishes the family, who provides the support, the strength, the warm apple pies on cold evenings.
And I have to do it over, and over, and over. Sometimes not happy about the exhausting never-endingness but always I do it. Because although I never received full disclosure of the job requirements before I became a mother, I accept this as the way it was meant to be.
Taking my daughter’s hand in mine, I said good-bye to my friend and we headed off to the bread aisle.