When they’re little, your regular persona is Train Conductor. You keep the trains running on time, blow the whistle, get everyone out the door in the car into preschool into childcare into the car in the tub into pajamas into bed. You run a tight ship with little room for error and you always are looking ahead to make sure nothing interferes with the schedule. A little bit older, and you’re the Referee. The game plays itself but you are there to call the lines, interfere when necessary, and make sure that everyone plays fairly and no one gets hurt. Teenagers? FIREFIGHTER. All you do is put out fires. Girl drama? Fire. Back to school shopping? Fire. Getting them to do their summer reading? Driver ed? Fire. Little fires everywhere, and all you do is gear up and point the hose.
What comes next? My friends with older teens say what we become next is just Bank Teller.
Sometimes, just for a little while, I’d like to go back to just merely having to keep the trains running on time.