Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Mom of the World, or Shouting into the Void

 If you're a mom, or a teacher, or have a certain kind of organizational brain, you're used to this: 

Mom version: 

Day 1. "Mom, where are my socks?"

"In the drawer where they always are." (Or in my case, in the laundry basket where I hadn't folded them.)

"Oh, okay." 

Day 2. "Mom, where are my socks?" etc. 

But you put up with it because they're kids and learning.


Teacher version: 

"How many sources do we need for this paper?" (after you've already said "as many or as few as you need" in class many times.)

"As many or as few as you need. If you're supporting a point . . . " (and you can do this from memory, I'm sure.) 

You answer patiently because they're students AND you have learned that some draconian teacher in their past has probably terrified them by saying "this specific number, no more and no less." They need that reassurance that, unlike a real colleague I had one time, I am not going to dock them points for putting one space rather than two after a period back when that was a thing. 


But what about grown-ups? 

Person A to Person B & C (me):"Where did we put this file? Who has it? What did we say about X? Isn't that a problem?"

Person C (me): "The file is here. Here is the system I set up so we could all keep track of these files together. Here is what we decided about X, and here is why we thought it was a problem." 

Person B: "I don't remember what we decided, Person A, but I think X is a problem because [what I as Person C just said without crediting me]." 

Person A: "Thank you, Person B, for your vast insights and wisdom."

Person C (me): "Hello! I'm talking here."

In short, apparently I am the Mom of the World, organizing things and shouting into a void that is not responsive. As with other responsibilities where this has happened, the world will not change, but I can stop being its Mom.

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