Saturday, May 10, 2008
Mother’s Day 2008
Happy Mother’s Day!
Even though this day was originally a call to leave war behind (http://www.prism.net/user/fcarpenter/howe.html) I kind of think Mother’s Day is a call to remember just what this whole dishes-laundry-carpool carousel we ride is all about.
Even before I had any babies, I knew that raising kids was an art, that creating a home that would be a nest to grow a family would be the biggest thing that any person could ever do, and that I; with the biology and sprit I’m equipped with as a woman, would be perfectly suited to do just that.
I’m not talking Martha Stewart perfection of obsession with the bric-brac that sometimes comes with a house. Really what I mean is that funny ju-ju you feel when you come into a home. Maybe it’s the sizzle of onions and veggies that will make a long simmered soup, or maybe it’s the fabric softener that goes into the washer on the rinse cycle. Maybe it’s the homebaked cookies that poor Hillary Clinton will never live down. But really, I think it’s the air that invites a long conversation. It’s the cozy, sometimes cluttered couch that invites sitting together for some down time. It’s the feeling of acceptance and time and love and hope and care that comes when someone who lives in the house has chosen, as their primary function in life, to create a home for a family.
It’s nothing for a delicate soul. There are no raises. The benefits are that eventually someone might take out the garbage FOR you and maybe they’ll find your commitment to them lovely. But there will be days that they wish for nothing more than for you go just get out of their way and leave them alone.
Full time employment looks pretty good when this happens.
Someone else can run that afternoon with snacks and homework and the ride home from school.
Someone else can make dinner.
Someone else can get the kids to get on the bus to just go to school, even if homework isn’t all done just right.
But those drives have little moments of clear brillance that you’ll miss. And those dinner prep moments have chemistry lessons and LIFE lessons that you’ll miss. And if you leave for those tricky times, you can’t help but MISS things. There’s no way to capture all of it, unless you are just there. No other way.
I’ve worked full time while homeschooling three kids. It’s not easy, it’s not fun. But if it was what I had to do to make the days work, well then, that was the only choice. I am not willing to miss those days.
Quality time is a lie. Time is time, and it doesn’t matter if you’re gone for an excellent reason. You are still, to you own child, just gone.
Maybe lots of moms disagree and feel that they’ll lose themselves if they are JUST home with kids (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/362567_optin10.html).
For me, there is no greater art, nothing more important, no better way to spend my life, than with my amazing sons, doing the laundry, the dishes, driving to practice. There is nothing I’d trade for the chance, the honor, of being their mother. Nothing.
Happy Mother’s Day.