There is a full moon approximately every 29 days. Native Americans named each full moon of the year as a way of tracking the seasons. Monday night, and last night was the Snow moon. Earlier yesterday, as I walked the dogs in the sunshine, amidst green lawns, it seemed a bit of a misnomer. The kids however, came home full of speculation and hope that today was going to be a snow day. Less because of the prophecy of an ancient moon, and more thanks to the storm warnings forecasted for our area. Either way, we’re excited about the opportunity of school getting cancelled – stolen moments in an otherwise busy routine of early mornings, school lunches and homework.
Most of my serving shifts are in the evening and over the weekend, which provides me the luxury of being home and available to snuggle in the event of busses being cancelled due to inclement weather. It’s just one of the reasons I love my job; the flexibility of the schedule.
Actually, in many ways the service industry is perfect for me. I am a people pleaser with a touch of ADHD, and just enough social awkwardness to require a little play acting to fit in with normal society. Waitressing is like improv; the server approaches each table with the confidence of a practiced stage actor feeding their patrons lines like a pro. What the guest gives back, keeps things from getting boring. When a customer orders a New York Sirloin cut to your liking and says “I want 12 inches” I could correct him and explain steak is cut in ounces, not inches, or I could look him in the eye and say “Yes, don’t we all”
It’s the perfect blend of routine and spontaneity. It can be art, and like all art it can be unappreciated by the uneducated eye.
So why am I standing here on this soap box waxing poetic on the life of a Server? Because my daughter is at the stage of her life where the world is demanding that she hand in her road map with her life marked out in red pen and it’s up to me as her parent to help plan her route. We just have no idea where we’re going. She and I are both pioneers. This is her first trip into the world on her own, and this is my first trip as a back seat driver to an impetuous teenager. Who on earth left us with keys to the car?
The only thing I know for sure is that I want her to be happy. A huge part of happiness is the struggle to keep stress levels manageable. I have this routine at around 3 in the morning where I stare at the ceiling and every single worry that I’ve had throughout the day comes to hang out and compare notes on who is the biggest, baddest worry of them all. I worry about dentist appointments, I worry about the car leaking oil on the driveway, I worry about making sure the kids ate enough vegetables. I worry about my health, I worry about my relationship with my husband, I worry about how I’m raising my children and if they know at the end of the day that I did my best for them.
I do not worry about my job.
In fact when I am not at work, I barely think about it at all. On a good day, serving is a dance; once you know the steps, you can just sit back and enjoy your partners and a restaurant is quite the stage for an avid people watcher. (all bets are off on a holiday however-then it’s just a fight to get out alive)
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dream of my daughter growing up and joining the service industry. I remember when I worked retail, and I was chatting with a little girl as her mother looked for shoes. I compared notes with a 4 year old on which was more appropriate; pink sparkly ballet flats or Velcro tie running shoes. She wistfully mentioned how much she loved shoes, and I whole heartedly agreed and comforted her as her mother brought the sensible shoes to the register to be rung in. As a girl determined to make the most of her employee benefits, I joked that maybe one day she might work in a shoe store and be able to enjoy the perks of a discounted shoe collection, at which point her mother scoffed that hopefully she would aim a little higher than that. Ouch!
I understand, I do; no one grows up dreaming about donning an apron and working for less than minimum wage while listening to a table discuss whether tipping should be abolished. (while we’re at it lets cut performance based bonuses out of your payscale shall we?) but maybe we need to change the definition of success just a little. Yes, doctors and lawyers and astronauts are awesome, but so are mothers who waitress at night, but are at home during the day to cuddle with, in case of a snow storm. There’s room in the world for us all to rock out.
The full moon is only visible when the earth falls directly between the sun and the moon, which started a discussion with my son over which was more important. I argued that the sun was necessary to grow our food but my son countered that the moon was needed to keep us balanced in orbit. The gravitational pull is strong enough that it pulls the ocean back over 50 feet, as we witnessed in the Bay of Fundy on our trip to PEI last year. Without it, our rotation would spin out of control causing severe climate changes.
It was one of those rare moments of parenting when I was able to sit a little straighter and pat myself on the back at “doing it right”. Luckily, before I got too comfortable as Parent of the Year, he followed it up by lamenting that on the other hand, if the moon suddenly failed to exist, werewolves everywhere would finally get their lives back.
Oh well, a little creative editing and he comes off looking like a rocket scientist…happily, bloggers are good at editing.
However you spent your Snow Moon, be it staring at the ceiling and worrying about how to raise your children, or locking yourself into a dungeon to protect your friends and neighbours from your insatiable thirst for fresh meat, I hope you took it easy on yourself. We’re all doing the best we can, and we all deserve to be happy; doctors and waitress and daughters and werewolves and…
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid~Anonymous