I watch the Bachelorette. And the Bachelor. It’s my brain candy and while I’m sure it rots my synapses like cavities in tooth enamel, I can’t quit. It’s a little like a train wreck that I can’t look away from, drawn in while holding my hands over my eyes because it’s just. so. bad.
Last night was the ‘Men Tell All’ episode, where all former participants from the season gather to rat out each other and put on a front for the girl who dumped each of them. This season has been particularly controversial, and the Bachelorette has been raked over the coals for many of her choices. During the episode last night, the host read a few tweets and emails that had been sent to the Bachelorette. They were full of awful, horrible words from real people to a real person.
After reading them, the Bachelorette was quiet before choking out a few words. Then the beauty entered. Someone in the audience shouted, “We still love you!” The entire audience and all the men she’d dated stood up, giving her a standing ovation. She looked around in shock and smiled through her tears, and I thought of you.
I thought of you, mamas of little kids, wiping spills and heinies and after dinner spills. Sweeping floors only to step in a pile of cheerio crumbs an hour later. Folding the last of the laundry only to start over in the morning. All service, all unsung.
Of you, who works in a downtown cubicle all day then goes home to another kind of chaos – dinner, bath, bed, clean up, whoosh into an exhausted puddle on the couch before bed. All day, everyday, cramming in a weekend of adventure and projects and errands.
I thought of you, mamas, who for a short or long season are solo parenting and simply do not get a break, ever. It all comes down to you, from sun up to sun down and all the hours in between. You go and go and go, rarely get time off, your kids pitch fits only to be perfect for other caretakers, and you get the leftovers at the end of the day.
Of you, who is home with your brood all day every day. Making fun happen even on rainy mornings. Chasing tinies and schooling bigs. Giving and giving of all you have for all your heart.
I thought of you, mamas, who have dreams on hold and no one has thanked you for making that quiet but heart-skipping sacrifice.
Of you, working retail and restaurant and driving and any job that leads you to feel even a little taken for granted. You serve and clean and organize and sweat, and often get treated as less than.
I thought of each of you last night during – of all things – the Bachelorette. I teared up thinking about you and so many more, because as she looked around at people truly seeing her sadness and cheering her on, I wanted to do the same. I wanted to give you a standing ovation. For all the hurts gone silent but making noise in your heart. For all the service bestowed on ungratitude. For all the times you’ve been and felt unseen… you deserve a big, resounding, awkwardly long standing ovation. You deserve to be celebrated, thanked, heard.
Bravo, friends. Cheers and confetti and clapping, all and just for you in those small overlooked moments. A standing ovation from One is yours.