Unacceptable, unintentional, uninspiring, unfashionable. This is not the vocabulary of a childless single person. But these are the letters that spell mommy.
My life is a swirl of things left undone. Time eludes me as I attempt to accomplish everything on my unglamorous and unrelenting “To Do” list. Items remain unwritten because the same nagging task will still be there tomorrow, and the day after that, and (who are we kidding?) until next September.
Unmade beds, unwashed dishes, undone laundry, unclean bathrooms—for starters. My house will, unfortunately, never be mistaken for an advertisement for Comet or Windex (unless it is the cringe-inducing “Before” photo). Our front entry is littered with unopened mail and unreturned library books. As I type this, unanswered emails flash at me, begging for attention. I trip over un-put-away toys when I walk to the bathroom to look in the unpolished mirror. I try to assess exactly how bad my un-showered self looks (with un-brushed hair, natch). Bad. Un-good.
I go around the house, doing the necessary chores and pretending that the house won’t morph back into this unkempt, unruly state in approximately 24 hours. I’m making unprecedented strides and the house is reacting uncertainly to my unleashed zeal (I overhear the kitchen door mumble to the stove, “I don’t understand; this is so unusual … has she come unglued?”). And the bonus of the unexpected: I’m no longer unhappy, because my uncontainable enthusiasm is undeniable!
Just now, my freighbor brings Tall and Short home from a playdate. Both boys simultaneously lean in toward me to give a big bear hug, almost tipping me over.
Ah, my favorite “un.” Unconditional love.