“Hurry up darling, give me a fresh towel, please.”
“In a minute Raj. Here you are honey,” she smiles and turns to go back to the kitchen and anxious raised eyebrows replace the smile. She hastens to check on an omelette getting cooked in the pan.
“Did I lower the heat?” she mumbles to herself. “I better run!” She quickens her pace and as she enters the kitchen, she hears her son calling out to her. She’s needed again! A quick check. The omelette is fine.
“Mom! Are you listening? I can’t find my socks. I told you not to tidy my room.”
She opens her mouth to retort – ‘Take a deep breath before you answer,’ says her heart just in time.
“Okay, Kirit, I’ll remember if you remember to tidy it yourself. Your socks are in the second drawer on the left-hand side,” she said on the go and was just in time to take the omelette out of the fry-pan, before it burned, and place it on a plate. The filling, the filling.. quick!.
‘Now for the filling that “gets folded in after and not cooked”, she is amused, and flicker of a smile plays on her lips. She stretches her hand to pick up the grated cheese…Raj didn’t like the cheese as a filling cooked inside. He liked it folded in a hot-off-the-pan omelette; three-fourths-melted; a filling “not cooked”. She grabs the cheese…
“Sweetheart, Where’s the blue tie? The one with the diagonal stripes.”
The cheese can wait. Run baby. Run.
“It’s right here Raj with all the ties,” she says holding back her exasperation. She makes a dash for the door.
“While you’re at it, please keep a fresh handkerchief out too,” grinned her husband.
“Sure Hon.” She takes out a hanky and makes good her escape.
Back in the kitchen, she moves like a whirlwind getting packed lunch and breakfast ready for the family. Omelette and hot buttered toasts for Raj. Banana pancakes and milk for Kirit. Lunch packets for both. Green tea and a cheese-marmalade sandwich for herself.
“Darling, I’m running late today, could you hurry up and give me my breakfast,” said Raj as he sat down at the table and opened the newspaper.
“Hi Mom, can I skip cornflakes, today?”
“No! What’s the big deal? You’re a growing boy and you need proper nourishment.”
“That’s the big deal. Can I have an omelette too?”
“But why not?”
“Just in case you have forgotten, you have a working mom. That’s why!”
“So I don’t have the time to whip up an egg and…”
“Chill Mom,” Kirit interrupted, grinning. “I don’t want an egg. I’ve had my cornflakes anyway,” he laughs impishly. She gives him a whack with her napkin, which he dodges and runs off to the bus stop.
“Darling, just listen to this.”
“I can’t sweetheart, I need to hurry too.”
“Babes, you’re going to end up getting sick if you stress this way. Relax.”
“Yeah. I’ll do that Hon.” She zips off to change into her office clothes.
“Hey, you didn’t even kiss me,” she hears him calling out.
“If you can wait fifteen minutes, you’ll get it,” she calls back.
She hears the door close and the car starts up. She’s dressed and dashes off to the stop where the office cab picks her up every day. After a few minutes, she realizes the cab isn’t coming. A quick call to the office confirms her worst fear. She looks at her watch, she’s five minutes late and has missed her cab. The time had changed for pickup. How did she forget!
‘Got to get a cab,’ she thinks and begins to walk. The cab stand is a good ten minutes walk.
“You’re late Neera,” said her senior colleague, in surprise.
“I’m sorry! I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she smiles, managing to be apologetic and charming!
“Hurry Neera, we have to be in the Conference Hall in ten minutes.
“I’ll be right there, you get going.”
She brushes her hair. Checks her lipstick. Picks up her laptop and a few notes she had scribbled on the way. As she walks to the conference hall she feels a nervous tension building up. She has to make a presentation for a very important client. It was a big deal and clinching the deal meant a lot for the company.
Her mobile phone rings.
“Hi Sweets, forgot to tell you, we’ll be having guests over for dinner. Think of some nice Mughlai dishes and let me know what you need to cook up your famous dishes. I’ll get it for you on my way back.”
“Raj,” she says trying hard to keep a cool head. “That’s breaking news! You should have told me earlier. Sorry baby, you know how tied up I am with work. You’re great, you’ll manage very well on your own. Talk to you later, bye!”
She’s at the door of the Conference Room.
She pauses. Takes a deep breath and says, “Here I am Lord! What I am, and what I’m not. Take my natural self and add your ‘SUPER’ to it. I need it today.”
She enters the room with a small smile on her face, exuding utter confidence and calmness, like one who is sure of victory.
In this ‘challenge’ topic, ‘SUPER’, on FaithWriters.com, I combined the experiences of working wives and mothers who were my colleagues or friends, as shared with me, and a bit of my own too, through the mid-’70s to the early ’90s. Things have changed a lot (for the better) since then on the home front and for the working wife and mom.
This story was first published on FaithWriters.com (2006-2009)