Good to know.

Our daughter was watching a nature documentary the other night. Apparently, she watched chimpanzees or baboons mourn the death of a baby in their family. She mentioned it at dinner… and later during the meal, asked:

“What’s the point of life?”

My husband and I looked at each other, and back at her.

“What do you think the point of life is?” I countered.

“I don’t know. I mean, what are we supposed to do?”

My husband kept chewing. I ventured in to uncharted waters.

“What are you good at, and what makes you happy? Maybe that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

“Yeah,” she acknowledged. “I think that when you die, you don’t actually just end. I think you come back, but you don’t know you were already here. Like you’re somebody else, but you’re still you, but you don’t remember that you are you.”

I told her that was what many refer to as reincarnation. Please note, we have never discussed reincarnation with her.

“I just think that makes more sense. Otherwise what would you do when you die?”

My husband at this point added, “Well, there are a lot of ways of thinking about it. A lot of people have different ideas… there’s Heaven. Or just the end. Or you come back.”

But our girl. She has her idea. She’s all set.

Honesty in a CEO. And housewife.

A couple of weeks ago Matt Lauer of the Today Show asked GM CEO Mary Barra if she could be a good mother and a good CEO at the same time. He says he’d have asked the same parenting question of a male CEO, if like Ms. Barra, the CEO had brought up the issue in a previous interview. 

It’s not a bad to thing, to ask a person if they can be a good parent and be a good CEO at the same time. It’s perhaps even, a very good thing. 

PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi answered honestly:

I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all… every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother… We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom.

It’s not a bad thing to be content and earnest if you’re instead a good parent and good wife, without the CEO-ness. Kate Tuttle is happy with what she has (and she sounds a lot like me):

Although I make money with my writing, it’s a tiny fraction of what my husband makes. We mostly live on his income. As for the housewife’s workload, that’s mostly mine…  The crazy part is, I (mostly) love it.

It’s utterly refreshing to hear two perspectives from two women who are to be admired, not for how they spend their days, but for their self-awareness. They acknowledge what’s hard. They acknowledge what they want and their associated costs. They work to cover them: Willing to pay, because there’s a benefit out there that’s worth the price.


My daughter doesn’t like that I work. It makes me too “busy.” She was telling me this, woefully, but then she paused and said,

“But you were busy before you worked. What were you doing?” 

“Well, I helped out at your school a great deal. I took care of the house and of you and your brother, and Daddy, then. I still do.” 

“Oh yeah….” 

My son recently said, after watching his older cousins head off to their summer jobs as life guards (which struck my daughter as “sad,” because they didn’t have as much time to play),

“I wish I weren’t a boy.”

“Why?” I asked, preparing myself for a completely unexpected but happy-to-have conversation about his gender identification.

“When you grow up you have to go to work.”

My daughter interjected.

“What? Girls grow up and go to work! Mommy took me to work when I was a baby, remember? And then she was home with us and she worked, and now she works and she does work in the house, too.”

I’m a corporate wife. A housewife. A mother. A writer. A woman. And with that conversation, I know a key piece of this woman’s work is done. 

Facts worth sharing

We’ve endured about two and a half years of knowing things and not sharing everything. Well, we’d share, but not broadly, and never completely. It’s counter to my nature, not to share. It got to where I was censoring myself in this blog, because its readership grew. Everything was so absurd.

Past tense. Did you notice that?

Here are some facts I’d like to share. Because I can, now.

Present tense.

The company my husband worked for, once a joint venture between two larger parent companies, is now a sole venture, owned by one of the parent companies. (There was a divorce, if you will, with a huge settlement.) My husband, assigned to the venture by one of the parent companies (his official employer), has been (finally) released and promoted. To carry the marriage metaphor further, his employer gave up custody of the venture, and as such, no longer needed my husband to serve as its financial caregiver.

It was a big deal. Big enough to disrupt our lives for two and half years (if inertia can count as disruption), big enough for my husband to be willing to take one for the team and put his career on hold in order to meet his employer’s needs.

And now it’s over. His new job with his ever-present employer officially starts today, about 1200 miles north of his wife and children. And because we never do things the easy way, he’s currently working with his team offsite, about 7500 miles away. He’ll return Thursday, to the place due north, and live, at least on weekdays, in temporary housing. He’ll come home on weekends, until we leave this house and move into our new one.

We’ll all be together in our new home by mid-May. Yep. We’re really, truly moving. We’ll be on a plane on May 9 or 10 (whichever day has the better airfare).

We’ve been preparing and planning and plotting and what have you for a while now. We took that house hunting trip in late February, and found and bought a house in about 36 hours. The next weekend, we chose a listing agent to sell our home. The weekend after that, our house was on the market for about three days, and in that time, we showed it 15 times and had three offers. So, we sold it in about 36 hours. We set up the schedule for the moving company… they’ll pack and move our things over the course of… about 36 hours… during the first week of May. The truck with all of our physical belongings will arrive at our new home between May 12 and 15.

Between now and then, I really only have to figure out how to make sure the kids are enrolled in school so that they can attend for the remaining four weeks of the year. “Figuring out” means waiting for the appropriate paperwork to be available. I should also figure out how to make lunches for the kids during the last week we’re here but living in a hotel while our home is packed up. (They don’t like school-sold lunches.) Figuring that out might require asking for some help from a friend or two.

As I told my husband, if these are my big concerns, I basically have no concerns. He agreed. (He’s exceptionally good at humoring me.)


This is our current home. We’ve lived here since January, 2008. Our children swim like fish, fear nothing in nature, and barely know how to tie shoes, as shoes have been virtually unnecessary here. It has been a lovely place to raise young children.





And this is our new home. I’m pretty sure the snow will have melted by the time we arrive. I’m not sure how long we’ll live here. Three years? Five? Whatever it is, I look forward to sharing.