This post is for the moms. Mine in particular.
I get it now.
I know what it’s like to be tired when I need to chase children.
I know what it’s like to hear for the eighth time this morning that he doesn’t want to eat toast for breakfast even though he’s so so hungry, and it’s grocery day, and there’s not an ounce of food left in the house, and if he’d just eat his fr#cN fr@cn TOAST! We could get our shopping done.
I know what it’s like to not be able to remember my last shower, but my children are lovingly bathed several times a week, hair brushed and wearing matching clothing. I’m wearing yoga pants with holes in them because every pair of pants I own have been snagged on the lid of the metal garbage can.
I know what it’s like to dream up a colourful life for my children, implement it, and spend every day wondering if I’m just messing them up.
I know what it’s like to still feel like a child, despite being a grown up, in charge of raising four beautiful kids.
I know what it’s like to give my heart and soul to these magical beings who love me, but don’t comprehend how incredible their little lives are, so I spend the majority of my mothering feeling unappreciated.
I know the struggle of trying to balance feeding their fires without letting my own extinguish.
I know what it’s like to hear the tiny voice inside of me say “I’m still here”. In fact, occasionally, through flues that pass through 6 people, and sleepless nights with new baby teeth, that tiny voices grows. She stores up her reminders and comes out as a ferocious lion. Sometimes she spills out, like a hot July fire. She burns through me and then moves towards my children, quicker than I can extinguish her.
I know what it’s like to humbly apologize to small faces, unsure if it’s enough.
I know what you meant when you said I’d know when I got older and had children of my own.
Children who teach me about patience, everyday…
They’ve taught me lessons of kindness and self-sacrifice. They’ve taught me about generosity (you can have my last m&m mama), confidence (yes, you can do it!), and the importance of knowing the difference between equal and fair (not the same thing!).
And then there is the most difficult lesson…the lesson of self-love. If I want it so badly for them, I must model it, myself.
Frequently, I’ll catch myself uttering the words I heard you say many times while we were growing up, together…..I’m still learning.
Happy Mother’s Day
The words meaningful work have been floating around in my mind lately. What is meaningful work, what does it mean to me?
I’ve always been a dabbler, and by that, I mean, I’ve always dabbled in many different mediums of creativity. As a child even, I was guilty of beginning several different projects, finishing only those that were exciting enough, and moving on to my next outlet. Well, my inner child is alive and well today. She’s trapped inside a 33 year old woman’s body, with silver streaks in her brown hair, tiredness under her eyes, and the desire to create beauty.Never one to replicate my work, I’m always tinkering away at something different. Occasionally, I’ve even received compliments on my resourcefulness, how lovely and thought-filled my work is, and that has always been nice…to hear kind words of appreciation. I’ve always tried to hear it as a compliment when people mentioned how great it must be for me to know how to do so many things.
But as the story goes, those with straight hair, can’t help but wonder how those with wild curls live. What must it be like to be truly great at something? To have studied and become a master. What must it be like to know something inside and out? I won’t ever be one of those people. I don’t say this with a heavy heart. I’m not looking for a pep talk, an encouraging pat on the back that says “you can do it!”. I’m merely stating a fact, the way one states that the sky is blue and that children are young. In the same fashion, I can say, “I’ll never run a marathon”, I also know I’ll never be an expert.I’ll know how to write something someone wants to read. I’ll nurse babies with difficult latches. I’ll grow my own vegetables and flowers. I’ll raise wild children. I’ll sew, bake, draw, design, and paint. I may learn about marketing, or leatherwork, or drumming. I’ll teach children to dance and to hear the beat of the music, and I’ll share my knowledge of herbal remedies. I’ll be a walking book of tidbits of both helpful and useless information, but I’ll never be the next Maya Angelou or Roberta Bondar, and I certainly won’t be the mom with a PhD. It’s not that I lack the intelligence because I don’t.
Some may call it artistry, and some may call it ADD, but I think, it’s simply a combination of the fact that I am so easily distracted by soul awakening beauty, and the awareness that there simply is not enough time while I walk this great earth to see and do all of the things that elicit feelings of awe and pure joy. I just have to dip my fingers into that cool earth and plant this tiny packet of seeds since I simply cannot wait until I get to hold the rainbow of carrots that will surely follow. I have to touch that purple satin ribbon and imagine it woven into a beautiful braid in my daughter’s hair. I must know how those colourful buttons will look strung together on a string, in just that pattern, suspended from a grapevine wreath.
I so admire my friends who have studied and pursued their dreams. I see the value in learning about one subject and becoming very skilled in one’s craft. I can imagine how satisfying it must be to have chosen a speciality, monogamously devoting oneself to a subject of expertise. I also know that meaningful work, in our society, generally implies a decent income or an income in general, a recognized career involving a higher education, and so I’ve spent a long time believing what I do is not as valuable or meaningful. So I set the projects aside that bring my spirit joy and instead I toil away at all of the things that make me grumpy. There’s sewing to be done, but for some reason, I’ve decided that it’s more important to vacuum. It’s only recently that I’m learning to look at my gifts differently. So I’m proposing this experiment to myself for myself, and I invite anyone who wants to to join me. It sounds simple, but I’m certain it won’t be.
For the next year, I’m going to fill my life with beauty. No, despite what it sounds like, I’m not beginning a one-year shopathon. I won’t be bolstering our visa with beautiful things from The Container Store or Etsy, don’t worry Papa Bear. I’m going to spend time doing, creating, and enjoying as many things as possible, in hopes of teaching myself that I have value, that my work is meaningful. . .I’ll try to make the boring bits more beautiful by believing that my time is well spent in spending an extra few minutes on details. I’ll check in here occasionally to post an update or two to keep track of what I’m working on and how easy (or not) it’s been on the journey….I mean, I do have a newborn after all. This means that I’ll have to let go of things that are not serving me….that’s the part I’m going to find tricky. Wish me luck!