On Giving Thanks and Running in Heels

I cannot find the interview to quote directly, but not long ago I was lusting after a pair of never-to-be-mine Jimmy Choo sandals and reading an article about the glamorous founder of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon.  She was describing her own life, something to the tune of, she might have a personal training session followed by a parent-teacher conference for her daughter in the morning, and then she runs this global brand all day, and then she has some fabulous fashion party to go to in the evening…so she needs to keep three pairs of shoes in the car to be prepared for anything.

This of course made me, a fellow working mother, nod my head in agreement.  Yes, Tamara, exactly.  I couldn’t have said it better myself…minus the driver, the private pilates instructor, the personal chef, and, oh yeah, the $2,400 worth of shoes in the trunk.

The truth is (and those who know me will vouch for this), it is NOT uncommon for me to wear three different pairs of shoes in a day.  I too like to know that I am prepared, sartorially speaking.  But I am definitely more of a Gap/Banana girl than a Jimmy Choo vixen (sadly!).

Anyhoo, the Friday before Thanksgiving was Babyman’s “Harvest Feast”, a Thanksgiving potluck lunch at his school.  Our class was responsible for side dishes, and I prepared a decidedly un-kid-friendly (my kid, at least) quinoa and spinach “souffle” which is actually very delicious and I hoped would appeal to the teachers, who are a rather earthy, vegetarian-ish lot.

I took a personal day in honor of the event, but this being the real world, wound up scheduling a working lunch with my boss and a Board member right smack in the middle of it.  So I actually took a personal morning, and rare treat it was: with Babyman in daycare, I had the whole house to myself.  So seduced was I at the prospect of this luxury (an extra ten minutes at the gym!  a lingering cup of coffee in the company of Matt and Meredith!  trying on every single outfit in my closet!) that I plum lost track of time and found myself with exactly 40 minutes to make my souffle, shower, and get out the door for Babyman’s luncheon.

And this is why, if you happened to be in San Francisco’s financial district at about 10:59am last Friday, you would have seen a woman sprinting down the street with wet hair, wearing rain boots on her feet and a potholder on each hand (very un-Tamara), clutching a still-baking-at-400-degrees casserole dish to her chest.  That woman was me.

The school visit is fun on a lot of levels: one, you get to spend time with your kid (yay!); two, you get to observe your (in my case, only) child in the context of other children.  The school potluck is even better, because (if you happen to be fanatical about this topic, as I am) you get to observe how and what other kids eat.

As a parent I do not believe in comparing kids; all kids are unique little bundles of mystery.  But I am also sometimes susceptible to the notion that every other child is eating his spinach, and mine is the only one who would prefer to live on chicken and chocolate.  So when I spend lunch with 12 other toddlers and learn that Julie has digestive issues from subsisting entirely on fruit, Bobby eats buttered egg noodles three times a day, and Susie loads up her Thanksgiving plate with a cornbread muffin, a piece of toast, and a slice of pumpkin pie…well, there’s comfort in that.  Moreover, every parent there was trying desperately to get a little person to “try the turkey, honey.”  After all, this was a dry run for the big day, right?

I came away from the Harvest Feast feeling thankful for my sweet boy, thankful for his fantastic and nurturing school, and (dare I admit it) thankful that I am not alone.

I walked a little more slowly through the rain back home, changed out of rain gear into suede (Scotchguarded) boots, dealt with my hair, and then had to rush again to make it to lunch number two: businesspeople enjoying a leisurely Friday meal, on proper chairs, in a cozy Basque-themed space.  A far cry from preschool…Tamara might have been proud.

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