By all accounts, I am an ordinary, middle-aged woman no different from millions just like me. Over the course of my lifetime I have had my share of jobs (and I use the word “job” because I can’t really say I ever pursued a “career” in anything).
I am an Executive Assistant. When I got my first job, and for the following fifteen or twenty years thereafter, I was called a “Secretary”. They don’t call it that anymore, it’s not politically correct and although I never really understood why it was necessary to change it, ‘they’ did.
In addition to working in an office, there were other jobs that included waitress work (now called ‘server’) and a host of factory and manufacturing jobs during the summertime of my high school years. I have always given my employer the best I had to offer, remained loyal, trustworthy and punctual and worked 50 weeks out of the year. Besides a paycheck at the end of the week and those two glorious weeks out of the year they call “vacation”, most jobs have been pretty mundane with self-effacing rewards at the end of the day.
However, one job in particular that I have held throughout the last 32 years has proven to be the most rewarding, most fulfilling and most important to me. That job was given to me when I became a Mom. Seven years and eleven months to the day from when I got married my new ‘job’ was given to me wrapped in a little pink blanket. Ashley Christine, followed by a baby sister 23 months later created the job of a lifetime and had all the makings of that dream job you hear others talk about and envy.
Like the reward a NASA engineer must feel at the completion of a spaceship that will travel into orbit, I have built two beautiful people who have given me such pride and happiness and who have fulfilled my dreams beyond my imagination. While other moms complained of all the work, money and effort that went into raising their kids, I lavished the idea.
From Mommie, to Mom, to Mother, each step of the way has been enlivening. Starting even before that first step without holding on to the coffee table, which was followed by the babbling sound of MaMa and DaDa, kisses blown from a tiny little hand, falling asleep in my arms, Christmas mornings, the first day of Kindergarten, learning to swim, blowing out candles on a birthday cake, braces in middle school, their first kiss followed almost immediately by their first broken heart, softball games, dance recitals, cheerleading practice, learning to drive, high school football, the prom, graduation, packing for college, buying their first car, college graduation, moving back home, getting engaged and planning a wedding, it was my privilege to do my job and be there filled with pride each step of the way. Each and every day was not just another twenty-four hours, but another chance to make a difference – to teach and train, to mentor and to learn and grow along with them.
Now as I sit here at my desk, pushing paper from one side to another, answering the endless ringing of phones and watching the clock in anticipation of 5:00, I stop for a moment and day dream of all those precious memories that held my fascination and kept me coming back day after day, year after blissful year for more, as I performed the greatest job of my life – the job of being a Mom.
By Linda Hastings
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda has been writing for a number of years now and writes about true experiences that are near and dear to her heart. Many of her stories are tributes to family members. In addition to writing, Linda is a full time Executive Assistant, who is married with two grown daughters. She enjoys spending leisure time on the lake or on their Harley Davidson. Linda’s love for writing stories began when her children were small; she would create tales to entertain them using their names and their friends as the characters. Linda’s stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the book and the weekly newspaper syndicate, Fort Worth Business Press and you may recognize her name from other stories she has. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org