Monday, September 28, 2009

My First Gig

I played Mom this weekend.  

Sort of.  

I spent the weekend with two cool kids, Megan and Ben, while their parents, Lisa and Ross, took off for a much needed getaway. I know. I sound like a super nice friend, right? And I’d like to think I am. But truth is, negotiations for this event began long ago. In exchange for babysitting, they gave me a great couch that pulls into a bed. My friends even threw in a bonus coffee table as part of the deal. Of course all this time I’m thinking: “how hard can it be to watch a thirteen year old and a nine year old”?

Turns out the kids were terrific but playing the role of “mom” takes chauffeuring to a whole new level. I drove from home to school to home to swim practice, then back to home. The next day I drove to Mount Hood for a swim meet and then back to home for lunch. After a brief pause to paint the coffee table and make dinner, it was back to driving again to drop Megan and Ben off for her babysitting job. I absolutely have a newfound respect for parents, especially single moms and dads. 

When my mom called to check in I happened to mention that I was babysitting for a friend. There was a long pause. Then in her thick Lebanese accented voice came: “So this is what it all comes down to?” As if I had made some new crazy career choice by deciding to go from senior producer to senior babysitter!  

Of course I had forgotten to tell my mom about a job that came to me earlier that week. Three months and ten days after leaving CNN, I found myself at the University of Oregon on the field of Autzen Stadium, watching the Ducks football team during their morning practice. I was field producing for CBS College Sports. In many ways it felt good to be back in the game, doing what I know so well.

I told someone recently I’d like to keep doing what I do well while I discover what my passion is. That passion could be as simple as hiking a trail, planting a garden, or, as I found as the weekend winded down, biking with friends to Sauvie Island just outside Portland. Or it could end up being something chaotic and complicated and yet for me to discover. 

And though I can’t say if that passion will turn out to involve children or being a chauffeur, as my unusually active week drew to a close, I found myself missing Megan and Ben.  

Missing playing mom.    

Sort of. 

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