Earning My Underoos

This was written for the Scribbit July Write Away Contest.
I don’t expect to win, but it was so much fun to write,
so thanks to Michelle Mitchell for a beyond awesome topic.

When I was a about eight years old, I remember being so jealous that my sister had Wonder Woman Underoos. I wanted some BAD! I wanted to rule the world.

Before I knew it, I was a young woman, reading the quote, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” I thought, “Yeah right. My mom rocked seven cradles and she doesn’t rule the world.”

As a young married, I was still trying to figure out how to get me some of those Underoos (that being said with my best fake Southern accent ever). I thought that I would have to accomplish so much more before I could reach that Wonder Woman Underoo realm. I just knew that if I could write and photograph and work as a prized photojournalist, (you know, just after I spent my stint in The Peace Corp) that I would rule the world. The world needed me and if anyone was capable of being Wonder Woman it was me. But I had a dilemma. How could I gain my title when I now had a husband and future family to worry about?

I was struggling with my role in the world. I didn’t want to rush into having kids. I had wanted to be a Wonder Woman since my earliest memory, not a wife and mother. I wanted to rule the world, not rock the cradle. I knew that if I were to achieve all of my goals, my husband’s may have to take second place, and he deserved his Underoos too. (albeit he would probably choose Spiderman or Batman – “that’s a tough choice” he just informed me) I felt there was no winning.

It took months of serious reflection and prayer before I started to understand how I could rule the world. Little did I know that it had everything to do with rocking the cradle. I think I was unknowingly on the cusp of earning my Underoos when I wrote this in my journal:

“I think that I will have serious decisions to make in the near future, and they are going to be hard. I will have to be selfless. I think that the only way I will find true joy in this life is if I can help my husband and my children obtain all of their dreams. I need to make their dreams and goals my dreams and goals. If I get to a ripe old age and find that through my own pride I have deprived them of their potential, then I will be ashamed and sad. I know the way to true joy is in the realm of my own little family. I want to look back and know that I was the greatest cheerleader of the greatest people in the world.”

So, the decision was made. At the time I felt like I was giving up my Underoos dream for a while. I felt I may even have to wear Depends first, but darn it, those would be some joyful Depends with stylin’ Underoos over the top. I didn’t realize that in those early months of marriage, I had found the ONLY way a woman becomes a true superhero. The real Wonder Woman Underoos can only be earned by a woman’s willingness to give of herself.

I got pregnant shortly thereafter. I gave up my job. I gave up my full time pursuit of a higher education. Some women may feel like by doing this I have shamed Women’s Lib. But, I feel like I joined a higher cause. I gave up the Underoos because I suddenly knew and understood that “the hand that rocks the cradle IS the hand that rules that world”.

My family needed me to be their stabilizing force. God guided me into rocking the cradle of my husband and my children. And, who was I to argue with God? Even if I was Wonder Woman waiting to be discovered. Besides, if I was going to rock a cradle, I wouldn’t need those Underoos anyway. (Oh, how little did I know)

Soon after the birth of our first daughter, my husband and I made the decision that his education would get top priority. I had no way of knowing that his education would monopolize the following TEN years. Count that! One, two, three, four….yeah, you all get the picture.

So, now you all can understand that earlier this year, when LG FINALLY got his legal license, I couldn’t help but shed tears of utter joy. It wasn’t until I processed the good news that I realized that somewhere along the path I had earned my Underoos. I was all of the sudden astonished that those Underoos didn’t come while I was a photojournalist. I had been wearing those Underoos for years without even realizing it. If it wasn’t for my Wonder Woman Underoos I would have never been able to survive.

I had the greatest joy of all time. My husband had his dream in hand. And so did I. My dream had become his dream, and making his dream mine was precisely how I had earned those Underoos. I was Wonder Woman all along.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World
~ William Ross Wallace
Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Infancy’s the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother’s first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow–
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky–
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
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19 comments

  1. I shed a tear, hate you for that, that was so well written, I often think that alls I do in life is change diapers, scold, and teach, but thank you for the words to make me remember why I am a stay at home mom, and besides, who can afford a babysitter for 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 children.. not me. 🙂I had too many pairs of underroos, I should had let you have some, you definatly deserve them….

  2. I know you ar so right.Glad you are earning your underoos. Isn’t being a wife & Mother the best… when you get past all of the tidious stuff… the day to day, everyday kind of mudane tasks. I enjoyed reading this so very much.ToOdLeS, ShEiLA

  3. Applause! Beautifully written. I never thought it as earning underoos but when I made the decision to become a mother. I made the decision to put their needs first. I always knew I would achieve my goals that I had set. I just never knew it would take this long. After hearing a General Conf, back in 1994 or 1995. I was disheartened and numb to know that my full time motherhood duties would take me until my child was at least 18, well add that to my youngest child and my life’s goals become frivolous and unimportant. It is important to develop the woman within but always keeping the woman who rocks the cradle at the cradle.

  4. wow. you put me to shame. time to start getting more “real”–you have such an amazing gift for writing and i love it when you put it out there without any reservations.i have always ONLY wanted to be a mom and wife–kinda funny, huh? but it works for me and i’m glad it works for youFABULOUS POST.

  5. Alice, this is so well written — it’s truly beautiful. My eyes are filled with tears.I learned early on that you are indeed a Wonder Woman! 🙂And I just LOVE this photo of you and the girls — it’s so sweet — hope you have it framed and on display!

  6. Alice, your post are some of the most creative I have ever read. Your an awesome writer. I am amazed that just a few clicks and I was reading your blog. (By the way those clicks were from my niece cammie to her cousin Loralee to you.) Watching your family on family fued. Which looked like a ton of fun. You may remember me or not. I was a Ewing and grew up in Carlsbad 3rd ward. I am Adam's & Shannon's age. Although we were in the same ward, I went to a different High School. I alway's had a great love for your family, as does my parents. I recall your family moving back from Alaska.Also the many attempts to TP your house and your mother alway's catching us in the act or before we got started. You can catch up with me on my family blog. http://www.simplyafamily.blogspot.com Love to hear from you. Jenny

  7. You are very clever in your underoos analogy to write about something so dear to your heart. I love your fun-loving style that throws me right into the meat without even realizing it. Like this line, “I want to look back and know that I was the greatest cheerleader of the greatest people in the world.” What a truth.

  8. I love the Underoos analogy. I was a few years too old for Underoos and remembered being secretly resentful of that fact so while I was nodding my head at a lot of what you said I was also chuckling at the same time.Very nice piece of writing.

  9. Your children will read this someday and KNOW that you were their greatest cheerleader. This was beautiful.ps. I cried tears of joy when my husband passed the Illinois bar, and later the Utah bar! I identify 100% with those feelings. Relief! Good for you!

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