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Posted on Sep 10th by Kate

My heels click on the brand new industrial flooring as I walk with deliberation towards the restroom, legs slightly wobbly, rehashing my responses. My hand grasps the cold metal door. A wave of nausea, then relief, as if two years of waiting have brought me here. A mother ushers her little one out of the stall and balances her on her leg to wash her hands. I am not her today. I stand there a moment, staring at the reflection: well manicured fingers smooth ironed gold hair, polished, pristine. Prepared. Like the old days. I run my hands over invisible wrinkles, square my shoulders. This is mine. A seven day search after two years of waiting. Here I am. I did this. I am a woman who does not apologize. I am a woman who does not beg. It’s my turn.

I notice a hangnail as my dishwater hands grip the wheel, we’ve made it through another day. His crumbled snack bar remnants adorn his lap, the sticky shrapnel affixed to the seatbelt. The phone rings shrilly at 5:01, and it startles me. I jump when other days I don’t answer. My hands grip tighter, a car horn blares. My throat is hot, tight. My ears burn. I hear my pulse. Today is different. This is it. This is Kate. An eight-way unanimous vote in my favor. She wants my salary requirements. Why don’t you start the conversation, I strategize. I am calm. Collected. I will not lowball myself. I am worth too much. It’s my turn.

Yo Gabba Gabba blares on the television. Jack Black is wearing an orange costume and riding a motorcycle. I am alone at home and it is arsenic hour. One boy has no pants, the other no shirt. Both are wielding sippy cups and trucks. I am a human shield protecting one from the other. This is not me for much longer. Here I am. I did this. It rings again at 5:01. Curious, this time. Confident.  I absentmindedly run my ragged, dry fingers through my two year old’s curls. Do you have a moment? I have some bad news. The children’s show dulls. The child straddling my lap is asking me something. I don’t understand. Is there any feedback? There is none. The child in my lap is asking me why I am crying. The other child is crying now, afraid. It is arsenic hour and I am alone. The future dulls, spreads and seethes like an endless dirt road’s heat haze in late evening summer.

Still. I am a woman who does not apologize. I am a woman who will not beg. A man would not have to qualify it. But I am a woman. And it will be my turn.
Filed under: Maternal Health
13 Comments

13 Responses to My Turn

  1. Marta says:

    While I have no idea what specifically you’re talking about (job prospect?) I want you to know it was sooo well written. It is exactly the style of writing I love. So happy I met you an found your blog!

    • Kate says:

      Thank you so much for the compliment. I was so inspired after Kate Hopper's workshop today. I don't really usually write about my internal personal state, but this was a big deal for me, so I really appreciate the kind words. Loved meeting you too. I'm so glad you're in my city!

  2. Erica says:

    Beautifully written Kate, so descriptive. I’m sorry about what happened. You will get another opportunity! xxx

    • Kate says:

      You know, now that the dust has settled, I feel really relieved. The idea of a working outside the home again felt really good and exciting, but *that* job felt like I might be miserable every day. And I could never have been ballsy enough to turn it down, in this economy.

  3. MinnesotaJoY says:

    You are lovely and the right thing for YOU will come along. This was not the right thing. Anyone who doesn't consider themselves lucky to have you? Doesn't deserve you.

  4. This is incredibly written Kate. I already miss your touch from yesterday.

  5. WWGD says:

    It all happens for a reason…and some day that reason will show itself. xx

  6. Sue Robinson says:

    I know you have been struggling with this for a while and it pains me to think of you trying to rationalize reasons to low-ball yourself. I am proud of you for standing up for yourself and it is their loss. You showed your children today that it is okay to be strong, cry and make confusing decisions. Proud of you.

  7. Pingback: Momentum | Perpetually Nesting

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    Mom, foodie, fashion junkie, social media native, writer of words. Is coming to terms with the fact that becoming a soccer mom is no longer optional.
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