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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Imagination Land

My sales team is on the verge of completing a hectic week that consisted of six advertising deadlines. Long hours, stress, laughter, panic, frustration, and glee all made an appearance in our high-spirited bull pen this week. As we approach the close of business today, the team is collectively mellowing a bit and sharing their plans for for what they'll be doing once it's officially the weekend.

One sales rep is going on a date tonight and is asking her fellow coworkers for advice on where to go to dinner. "Do they have a good wine list?", she asks. Another will be attending the Ballet Gala at SPAC tomorrow and is speculating about the weather. The Gala goes off rain or shine, after all. One rep is going to brave the heat for the third time this week and take a long bike ride while another is eager to get home to enjoy a glass of wine on her deck. I'd be more than happy to choose "all of the above" from the list, but know full well that I'll be walking into what I've come to refer to as "Imagination Land" when I arrive home.

This is where my four year old lives when he's not swimming these days. Our night will likely begin with him cooking something interesting like "fish with kiwi fruit" in his kitchen. Dinner might bake in the pretend oven while we share a cup of hot tea with Buzz Lightyear in our son's creatively constructed "space center" (my husband and I are thinking of taking him to his first movie this weekend: Toy Story 3). We'll look out onto the airport and parking lot he's designed in our family room - complete with a bullet train from Japan that helps people get where they're going "super fast" and a wooden model of a limo he made so that "lots of people can ride together." This week's theme at pre-school was camping, so we've been building pretend fires at home with painted newspapers and construction paper where we roast marshmallows using my wooden skewers. I have to admit it's a lot of fun playing "make believe" after a long day of conference calls, emails, meetings and spreadsheets.

I'm consistently amazed at my son's ability to construct elaborate tales that fill his days with possibilities, wonder and amazement. His mind's a sponge, soaking up everything it can from his environment. From what he learns in school to quality time spent with mom, dad, grandparents, friends, neighbors and his favorite shows and movies - he's drinking in life.

As my four year old invites me daily into his world, it reminds me that each day is new and that the sky really IS the limit if you think (to use the tired phrase) "out of the box". Each day is what we make of it and sometimes it takes a child to point that out to you - with his pirate sword. He is Captain Jack Sparrow, after all.

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