That’s it. I’m turning in my cape, abandoning my tights, and surrendering my mask. Supermom has officially retired.
It has nothing to do with the fact that I recently turned 48 and the half-century mark is looming ever larger. Nor does it have to do with my gross lack of a 401K or money market piggy bank. I can’t even say it’s because I’m falling apart because, quite honestly, I haven’t been in this good of shape since high school.
No, my retirement from Mighty Momhood has more to do with the fact that like other mere mortals, I am subject to the temporal contraints of Earth—I only have 24 hours in my day, too. I have tried bending and shaping time to my will (Einstein would be proud of me), but no matter how Steven Hawking I get, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that Father Time–that subcelestial nazi–cannot be bought, bribed, or conned out of even a few measily minutes. He’s stingy, selfish, and inflexible.
It’s not like I want to rival Christopher Reeve’s feat to reverse the Earth’s rotation to right some terrible wrong (although removing the bleach stains from two of my brand new shirts would be a start). Maybe I’m not praying hard enough. Joshua convinced God to stop the Earth for a whole day while he hunted down some really bad guys. But alas, I think Joshua took up mankind’s quota on time displacement.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have Hero’s ability (from the TV show Heroes) to freeze time? I could clean the whole house, do all the laundry, vacuum out my car (now that would be a miracle), and take as much time as I wanted to write, then blink again and return everybody to that moment I stopped it. That would be way cool. My writing output could rival Barbara Cartland’s.
But other than Jesus, God didn’t grant me or anyone else with superpowers. And he didn’t even give Jesus the ability to stop time—not that we know of anyway. Jesus himself was subject to our temporal limitations.
So why, why, you ask, have I ceased my futile attempt to alter the unalterable laws of time and space? Because I’ve realized, quite simply, that I can’t do everything. I started homeschooling my kids in October because I was under the delusion that I would be swapping out equal amounts of time between morning prep and homework with full-time homeschooling. What a laugh. (But I’m not laughing at how amazing it is being able to spend so much time with my girls watching them grow and learn before my eyes.)
As I get older–and supposedly wiser–I realize how high I set the bar for myself, not just with homeschooling but with everything. My house should be spotless even with three kids (someone whack me in the head with a wet sponge, please), I should be able to complete all my business accounting, marketing, advertising, and payroll on schedule without a secretary (someone whack me in the head with a netbook, please), and I should be able to prepare gourmet organic meals for my entire family on a daily basis (someone please whack me in the head with a Whole Foods grocery bill). Yes, I know, I’m an insane superhero—correction, retired superhero.
So why does God limit us? Why does he allow us the ambition for perfection then restrict us from achieving it? Because, I think, quite simply, I need to be reminded that I’m not Him. In fact, I need the constant reminders—falling on my face, busting a lip, scraping my proverbial knees—so I don’t forget that all of this is temporary. Perfection—heaven—lies outside of time and space. With Him. Nothing in this life will be perfect. And certainly not me.
So off comes the cape. I’m unmasked, unman(tl)ed, and unmade. These weary bones are slower than a pop-gun bullet, these arms are lucky to have any locomotion, and these feet are too tired to leap over more than a load of laundry. Look, up in the sky. It may be a bird or a plane, but it ain’t me.
I’m the one—eye pillow and ear plugs in place—taking an afternoon nap.