Last week our family was temporarily thrust back into the dark ages with an unexpected power outage at our house. It was quite an adventure as we waited for our local electricity provider, National Grid-lock*, to come to our rescue.
We had one of those magical moments where everything slowed down and without the electronic distractions of the outside world we were really able to focus on what was important - each other.
This lasted about 10 minutes.
Now, I'm not a high maintenance woman, but I do have an appreciation for the finer things in life. Like light, for instance, and a toilet that flushes. And, on the hottest night of the summer, a fan would be nice.
That's not to say we didn't try to make the best of our situation. Realizing that we were out of charcoal, I gathered wood from the yard and built an actual fire on which we grilled our hot dogs (and tortellini...tricky, very tricky). I felt a very Alpha-like rush of pride at this accomplishment - I build fire - I feed family. I was the sole survivor. I outwitted, outplayed and outlasted. Woman 1 - Nature 0.
Okay, so, fine - I soaked a paper bag in olive oil to start the fire. But I still think this should count as it shows MacGyver-like ingenuity. I'm certain that with a piece of gum and a shoelace I could have built a bomb. For those of you unfamiliar with this reference, you'll be back on track with the next paragraph.
This experience got me thinking, though, about what a luxury it is to provide myself with both the permission and forgiveness to be a Beta mom. If I was a pioneer mom, I would certainly have been eaten by wolves...or squirrels... or very angry mice. Pioneer moms didn't have the options that we do.
"We're on our way to find a new life for ourselves in the heartland! Where are we? New Haven? Good enough - everybody out of the wagon and let's get a pizza."
"We've got to plow the back 40 and get that corn in before the rain comes, or we'll starve come winter. What's that? Oprah's giving away butter churns to everyone in her audience - I've got to see this!"
So today, I give thanks to our foremothers who forged the path -women who reaped and sewed and gathered so that I might TiVo and order and blog.
Life is good.
*I'm sure I can't be the first person to make this joke...but it's too obvious to resist!**
**My use of asterisks is for you, Jeff Mac.