At my fifth grade "graduation," we sang a song that went, "When I grow up / I want to be / the very best that I can be / To do the work that has to be done / I'll find a job that's lots of fun." It was sort of like a rap. I don't know why I still remember all those words--maybe because we practiced it roughly 8,000,750 times. (We also had to memorize and recite Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled," with overexaggerated diction. I can still probably recite that, too, inflection intact.) But anyway, between stanzas, we each called out in turn what we wanted to be. I'm pretty sure I wanted to be a professional swimmer and an author. We see how well that has worked out for me. I don't remember many other jobs people wanted, but I distinctly remember one girl who said, "I wanna be a homemaker." I remember exactly who it was, even though I haven't seen her, let alone talked to her, since probably that same year. Probably some of you reading this blog remember it too, because we were all so floored by the concept.
While I am neither a professional swimmer nor an author, I would say that I've found a "job that's lots of fun!" Big picture, I very much feel like Second Mile is where God has called me to be at this time in my life. I am able to do tasks that I am good at, for a greater good, and I am also gaining invaluable experience and skills that will serve me so well in the future. I am also getting to know wonderful people and making all sorts of useful connections. I have no doubt that my season here may open doors to other opportunities later in life, as it even already is.
That being said, I also feel a yearning to be *drum roll please* a homemaker. I believe deeply that there are roles divinely designed for women and that we can find great fulfillment in living those out. I doubt the girl in my fifth grade class was feeling this yet, but I tip my hat to her for being honest in the face of the derision I'm sure we poured out on her (as only fifth graders can). Because I think there is great truth in her dream. Some of the day-to-day activities in which I take the most pleasure are my "wifely duties." I love doing laundry, folding and putting away the clothes just so. I enjoy planning and cooking meals, and my mind is often on things I would like to do when I get home. I like keeping our apartment neat and tidy. Less tangibly, I love perusing homemaking blogs and couponing. It is not yet my season to live this particular life, but perhaps the season will come.
I have also been granted a lifetime of opportunity to watch the way my mom has lived her version of this role. I've seen that just because a mom doesn't "work" doesn't mean she can't have an absolutely full and vibrant life. Another part of why I would love to be a homemaker is for the opportunities it affords away from the home! Filling my days with some combination of volunteer work, church activities, and household tasks sounds blissful to me.
I'm for sure not quitting my day job; it's not the time for that for me. But even though I spent years thinking I was an utterly liberated feminist, as I've matured I've grown to see the beauty in this other way. I may sound quaint and demure, but I would hardly classify myself as such. Rather, I think the 2010 version of a homemaker is entirely different and more enlightened than it ever has been, and I think it's educated women like me who choose to live this way that make it so. I'm not throwing back to the 1950s here, just trying to "be the very best that I can be" in the way God has designed me.
Although they did wear some pretty kickin' dresses in the 1950s...