Thursday, June 29, 2006

Perceived Perfect

My childhood hometown is drying up. The downtown is no longer bustling with shops. The big department store on Maine Street is being converted into The First Baptist Church, the Dairy Queen was torn down and storage units were built, all the local clothiers have long since abandoned their store fronts. It’s all gone. Well, except Klip-N-Kurl, where I went to get a $35 spa pedicure. This beauty shop has been around for a long, long time. It’s moved from one spot to another, but always on Maine Street.

I was greeted by Sheila. She hollered at me to come on back. We conversed about who my folks were and then she asked how they were doing, because of course she knows them. She asked if I worked, how many children I have, where I live, etc. Then out of the blue she said, “Don’t tell me you homeschool too? Cuz that would just make you way too perfect.” Okay, so I had a moment of do I lie? I don’t know why she asked me. It was very strange. I chose to tell her that in fact I do homeschool my children, but there is nothing glamorous about it and many days I’d like to slit my wrists. I live in a big community of homeschoolers; my children have been to public school and private school, blah, blah, blah what else can I say to not make this woman think I’m better than she? Her very polite comment to me was, “Well, around here your life would be perceived as perfect.” Whoa.

So what’s the perfection? That I chose to educate the kids? That I work very part-time and still take care of the kids? I don’t get it. I know I have looked at women and thought her life is so easy, she doesn’t know what it’s like to have to do this or that. But, I think I’ve been around long enough to know that there isn’t always a sweet gift inside the beautifully wrapped package.

There is no perfection about me or my home. It truly is perceived. Oh, but my kids, they are perfect and so is my husband. Buhwa ha ha ha ha!


Abby said...

Four kids is a lot of kids ( I say that with admiration, not criticism or disbelief), especially to homeschool. I believe you about wanting to slit your wrists or pull your hair out because I feel the same way just shy of three kids. Homeschooling is really hard, and you work too! We know no one is perfect, and I'm sure it's not at all glamorous, but I think what you do is VERY impressive. It's inspiring really to those of us a few steps behind you, though from your end I'm sure it's a lot of hard work and often times not at all rewarding. I guess from a lot of people's point of view, you'd have to be perfect to manage all of that! You're doing a great job :) Sorry about your town too. That's sad. I never understand how that happens.

april said...

Oh. Thanks. I'm sure not lookin to impress, in fact I think it's more impressive when a mom manages not to work or have too many other distractions in her life. I think that's why I thought it was so strange to hear that she thought my life was perfect, I need to be more careful about what I think is sublime compaired to others. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Thankyou for your sweet comments.

bernadette said...

It is sad to see your hometown changing!

After homeschooling 11 children and hearing similar comments (sometimes overly flattering and sometimes downright rude) I have resorted to a two-word reply: "God provides."

It is great to see your husband and children in that way!

melanie said...

Is Sheila the lady who charges the child's age to cut their hair?

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