Sell me a pantsuit and cut off my hair...

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(Tim: Here's a post by our daughter, Mrs. Ben (Michal) Crum.) Yesterday, I listened to the same song seven times while my boys were napping. I didn't have the song on repeat. But every time it ended I thought, I want to listen to that again. And I went back to the iPod and pressed play.

I had heard the song before, but yesterday I listened to it and it took on a different meaning than the writer, John Hartford, intended. I was listening to Gillian Welch's live recording of "In Tall Buildings", and the meaning of the song morphs when sung by a woman. As I consider my occupation as a mother (for it does occupy me entirely--physically, spiritually, and emotionally) I realize how privileged I am. I am privileged to understand the meaning of that calling, and privileged also that my husband and family recognize its necessity and value. For this is the song that many a CEO mother secretly sings to her children in past tense, and I mourn for those mothers who mourn for their children and their lost motherhood.

Here are the lyrics. If you must, read them. But if you have one spare minute and $.99, please download the song and listen to it, instead. It's hauntingly mournful and beautiful...

and so much of its meaning is conveyed by Gillian Welch.

In Tall Buildings

By John Hartford, 1976

Someday, baby, when I am a man,

and others have taught me

the best that they can

they'll sell me a suit

and cut off my hair

and send me to work in tall buildings

and it's goodbye to the sunshine

goodbye to the dew

goodbye to the flowers

and goodbye to you

I'm off to the subway

I must not be late

going to work in tall buildings

now when I retire

and my life is my own

I made all the payments

it's time to go home

and wonder what happened

betwixt and between

when I went to work in tall buildings

and it's goodbye to the sunshine

goodbye to the dew

goodbye to the flowers

and goodbye to you

I'm off to the subway

I mustn't be late

going to work in tall buildings