I spent the first eight years of my late teens/early 20s working career as a server in various restaurants, ranging from Podunk greasy spoons to fancy-pants celeb hangouts. Although the scenery changed from year to year, the script remained the same. Take this. Fetch that. Bend over backward to keep the customer happy. Do it with a smile.
Years after I finally hung up my serving apron, I would still have those anxiety dreams where I had too many tables to take care of. Countless, impossible demands to meet. Unhappy customers cursing at me.
I’ve come to the conclusion that being a parent is much like being a server. Take this toy. Fetch that juice. Clean up that mess. And that one. And that one, too. Wipe this nose/butt/etc. Bring a spoon. Whoops, he dropped that spoon. Bring another. Read this book. NO, NOT THAT BOOK. The other one. Bend over backward to keep the kid happy. Do it with a smile. Meanwhile, the kid/customer is mad and screaming and there’s dinner to be made and infinite disasters to clean up and a kid to play with and a diaper to change, and Juna DID NOT just put her hands in the toilet, did she? and AAAHHHHH! The hostess SERIOUSLY just sat me another table?! How will I ever catch up?
I’ve spent the past few months in a fairly dark place and I’m just now beginning to see the light again. Whatever cocktail of postpartum hormones and sleep deprivation is finally starting to wear off and I’m squinting my tired, lifeless eyes as I stare into the light of happier times ahead.
There is much to celebrate here. We recently traveled to Colorado; we’re looking to buy a vacation home in the mountains outside of LA; I had an amazing Mother’s Day; my kids are happy and healthy; my little man is finally in big boy underwear and my little girl is turning one in a few short weeks. So much to be grateful for.