Anne sat down on the faded couch wanting to unwind after a long day at work, losing herself in reality TV, watching people unaware that their private lives are on display for the world to watch. She slouched low, burying herself in the folds of the overstuffed sofa curious about the five college students who live together. What Anne knew, as did anyone else who tuned in daily, that these students were offered free rent in an on-campus house, as part of an internship.
What the students didn’t know was that they were part of an experiment, based on the movie The Truman Show, to see if in fact their lives can be truthfully documented. The psychologist running the test was interested to know how five, very diverse, unsuspecting people would interact. He was hoping to learn more about how the human mind thinks, the value of facial expressions and body language and also why people have hidden agendas.
Anne indulges, every afternoon, in the unedited show, soaking in the truths of the unsuspecting young adults as they live a carefree lifestyle. Yet, she feels slightly guilty for watching them, without their knowing.
“My guilty pleasure,” she whispers, as current events unfold before her eyes.
Friday night. I’m exhausted. I’m slouched on the over-sized faded denim sofa, watching TV. My eyelids droop ever so slowly. Yet, I can’t sleep. I will need to pick up my youngest kid. Unless he calls, asking if he can spend the night. I’m a working mom. I’ve been in the classroom all week teaching. This. That. And the other.
As I readjust my slumped position, I begin to reflect on my summer life. The one I lived only a few weeks ago. My life away from the school setting. The days I was a stay-at-home mom. Oh, how I enjoyed waking up at a ridiculously late morning hour, like 7am, rather than my working hour of 5am! With coffee in hand, I’d watch recordings of Dateline, Modern Family, and Say Yes to the Dress.
When Brad would wake several hours later (if he didn’t spend the night anywhere), I’d whip up his favorite breakfast – pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, and orange juice – instead of quickly dropping a granola bar next to his cup of coffee. We’d talk. Shoot the shit. Discuss something new. Or revamp something old. Summer days. Days I truly feel connected. Devoted. Stellar. Like a mom.
I know I have the best of both worlds. Staying at home, working, engaging, and being involved is just as beneficial and rewarding as working outside the home. My family needs time with me just as I need time with myself.
And, so, I know, without a doubt, that the Friday night slump will soon pass, bringing forth renewed energy so that I can spend the evening writing up lesson plans for the following week, along with offering Brad and PB and J for dinner.