life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

but Mom, you could have been a CEO of your own company!

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

That's what Becca said to me, in the midst of a fight rather loud discussion about finances -- or the lack thereof.
I am pleased that she thinks so highly of me, pleased that she evaluates my abilities  as those of a person capable of great achievement.
But obviously, I am NOT a CEO, not a high-level executive in a multi-million dollar corporation.    I have a decent job, it's not glamorous and it doens't pay nearly enough for what I want, but we certainly don't starve.
It's certainly not what I envisioned for myself when I was 17.  But I'm not 17 anymore.
Becca , on the other hand, is in that wonderful place....17 and a high school senior....where all things seem possible.  She's been raised in an affluent suburb, and has been sheltered from some of the harsher economic realities.  The life she envisions for herself...the possibilities are endless.
She does not yet understand how your visions can change, the decisions you have to make throughout life, the twists and turns your life can take, the compromises, the change in direction....

Where I am now is not where I expected to be at my age.  Twenty years ago I was at a cross roads and made a decision that affected the direction my life would take. 

I was 30 years old.  I'd been practicing law since age 24, in a small New York City firm.  and I was a new mom for the first time.  and feelign completely and totally overwhelmed by the demands of my job, the demands of marriage and the demands of motherhood.  Something had to give.

So I changed my career path and went to work for an insurance company.  Challenging work, but saner hours.  I'd imagined myself as a trial lawyer, but at the insruance company I worked behind the scenes.

Had I not made that is unlikely I would have had a second child.  I do not regret that decision, made 20 years ago.  How could I?  Had I not chosen the path I did, Becca would not be here to argue with me  today.

How can I make her understand that, without crushing her youthful dreams?  The choices she will make, the path she will follow, will be different from mine.  She may be able to combine career and family in ways I couldn't imagine. 

Sigh....anyone who thinks parenting is easy....isn't a parent.

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