Since Therapy for Ladies was Lady and Her Hats, I have talked about the power of the woman. This power runs deep from generation to generation, creating in us the Superwoman like persona. You see it everywhere on social media, as slogans in ads, titles of books, etc. Heck, there are times when I literally feel like I have a cape, no one else can see it, but I believe it’s there. There are other times, I think that if I had a cape it would have chili on it, be jacked up, and probably have the S on backwards.
This past weekend, I was hanging this really small picture on the wall and when I stepped back to view my handy work, the picture fell, and somehow it broke the pipe behind the toilet. Water came flying out like a waterfall! I couldn’t believe what was happening, from this small picture that was on the wall. The picture had a glass background and the glass didn’t even break! I immediately started yelling for my daughters to get towels and blankets while I frantically searched the house for a main shut off valve. I have never had to look for it at this house and so had no idea where to look. I threw my rainboots on and ran outside IN THE RAIN to see if it was out there and found a box but the thingy-ma-jiggy on the inside wouldn’t open. I ran back in while the girls were screaming that our basement had turned into a rain shower because the pipes and then the ceiling was leaking. I was slowly unraveling on the inside. When I got to the basement, I saw that my oldest had instructed the younger two to start pulling boxes out of the storage room and into the hallway. The middle was making them lunch (gotta feed the workers, lol), while the 9 yr old was passing out coats with hoods and drying what she could. NONE OF THIS MATTERED because I couldn’t find the shut off valve! After 15-20 minutes of looking, I forced my brain to stop and looked up to see the two handles that I assumed would shut off the water and IT WORKED!! HALLELUJAH!
What happened next, is when I knew a blog post was coming out of this! I had to RUN out of the house! Like, there was this immediate need to get outside, away from the girls, so that I could breathe and crash from the adrenaline rush! I felt the tears coming and thought, “not yet. Pull it together, you still have work to do.” This is what we do not see on TV, or the marketing ads, or the movies! This is the stuff that real life is made out of! I went back in the house assessed the damage, felt really sad, still shaken, and started going through the things.
Here’s what made me feel like superwoman! I know this is a long story but hang in there! After the plumber got there, we went to the grocery store. On the way, the girls were quiet and I asked, “how are you guys doing? That was pretty scary, huh?” They began to tell me that they were scared, I saw them take a breath, as if they had been waiting for the opportunity to share that experience. I said to them, “I was pretty freaked out, I hope I didn’t freak you guys out.” My oldest said to me, “I couldn’t tell at all. You were so calm, it was almost scary.” I laughed!! “Wow, well that’s good to know, but I was so nervous, I wanted to cry once I found the shut off.” Then, I thanked them for being my little heroes because what they saw in me, I saw in them. THIS IS WHAT MADE ME FEEL LIKE A SUPERHERO!
There 3 things I want you to take from experience as a Superhero:
You get to decide what being Superwoman is going to look like for you. For generations, history has decided this for us. More often than not, it included a lack of self-care, putting everyone else’s needs first, and at the end of the day mustering up the last bit of our energy to shower and get in the bed. No more! From the depths of my superpowers, I deem you free from those chains! ;-) Just kidding, lol! You have to set yourself free and I know that you can.
Most superheroes do not super hero alone. My Superhero status did not come from finding the shut off valve, although I did and will continue to give myself a pat on the back, lol! My Superhero status came when I was able to share that behind-the-scenes with my daughters so that they know, that what they saw on the outside was survival but what was on the inside was nervous energy and at some points, panic. I was able to thank them for being my superheroes!
Be observant! One of my lessons from this was, my daughters, who come from a long lineage of superwomen, at their young age, have already begun to take on that historical definition of superwoman. What I noticed was that, they did not open up about their feelings until I normalized it. I made it ok to say, “yeah that was kinda scary.” Let’s start creating spaces for the next generation to embrace the vulnerability it takes to really be a superhero.