As in “Jack of all trades, master of none.” That’s me.
When I was thirty or so, I thought that I was a great cook. I was proud of my pasta, delighted with my homemade bread, smug about my soup. Then I started to eat what my friends cooked. Now I know that I am a good, solid, journeyman cook. I can whip up a nutritious meal in a short time, and it will taste just fine. I have a friend who can make a prosciutto and fresh mozzarella pizza in a half hour, using all home grown ingredients.
Just call me Jack.
After we moved into our house, way back in 1990, I planted a garden, and I thought I was doing just great. I had my hostas and my tiger lillies, my daffodils and my lilac. Nothing was planted symmetrically, and there was no real plan. I found, I liked, I planted. Then giant spiders from hell climbed in the window from my sunflowers. Deer ate my roses. My tomatoes got some kind of fungus.
Just call me Jack.
And I thought that I was pretty good musically, too. I had a good ear for music, had been a singer in a few little folk groups back in the day. I was relatively happy with the sound that my pipes produced. Then I joined a local choir, and listened to the sound of real singers as they sent their voices soaring into the heavens, complete with vibrato, breath support and perfect enunciation.
And maybe this is yet another reason why I am so sad to be at the end of my mothering days. In the world of mommies, I was no Jack. I was the queen. I rocked. I was the top of the heap.
I look at my happy, loving, balanced, thoughtful, creative offspring, and I can pat myself on the back with the absolute certainty that I was a kick-ass momma for them. Paul and I were an unbeatable team. We did a GREAT job of raising our children. More importantly, we loved that job while we were doing it. But now the job is done.
So just call me Jack. Sad Jack.