I ran into someone I knew from highschool yesterday. Not much had changed for her. She still had it all. Blonde, blue-eyed and beautiful, it was no surprise that she was acting for a living. In Toronto. Me? I thought about my Drama degree that had gone to good use teaching 8 year olds, but I had to admit I missed the warmth of the spotlight. She didn't have any kids (her lithe form, blow-dried hair and immaculate make up had already told me that), and she smiled and glanced at her phone when I mentioned my two boys. I guess my damp bun, yoga pants, and extra 50 lbs. had already told her that. She could probably guess about the stretchmarks that striped my saggy belly like a pink and silver zebra, too. Then we both had to run (she probably meant it literally, I was speaking figuratively) and she unlocked her shiny Audi with her remote while I searched for my keys in my giant purse/diaper bag. By the time I had the key in the lock, she was gone, and I must admit that I felt more than just a twinge of envy as I got into my dirty little PT Cruiser with the carseats and goldfish crumbs in the back.
Then, on my way home to my unkempt house, I started thinking...
... about the cries of "Mommy!" and the gummy grins and squeals that would greet me when I got home; about the little hands that would clasp around my neck and drooly good night smooches; about hearing "I yuv you Mommy!" and watching my baby's eyelashes brush his cheek as he fell asleep in my arms. She hadn't watched her belly convulse as her baby hiccupped inside. She didn't know the joy of cleaning that first pee out of the potty, or the relief of changing that first dirty diaper in five days. She didn't get to hear her three-year-old sing a made-up lullaby to his baby brother, or hear the little giggles and trills that would respond. She didn't get to perform "Baby Beluga" for the fortieth time to a rapt audience of two.
I smiled as I turned into our driveway.
Given the choice, I'd take the stretch marks and goldfish crumbs.