These last few days I've been working on a post that is really, really angry. I make some good points in it. It's about isolation. It's about constant interruptions. It's about not being able to finish a sentence, go to the toilet by yourself, and not being able to get a child to go to bed. This is the stuff of early motherhood is made of. It is real. It is frustrating. And happily, it's not what this post is about.
You see, moms don't do it for the money or the glory. We do it because it is in front of us. If we do it with great love then we can get by. We can also do the same tasks feeling defeated, bitter, and covetous. Some mothers don't do it at all and the children are physically and/ or emotionally neglected. But when we do change that diaper, we never, ever do it for ourselves.
So why do we do it?
Today I took my girls to visit my dad. My dad is now totally bed and wheelchair bound. He is now confined to his bed for several weeks (except for doctor's appointments) due to sores on his bottom. He has to use a bed pan. I am typing with tears in my eyes. My mother died before my children were born so I know that as awful as it is to see my father this way, at least he is with us. Was he lying there feeling sorry for himself? Was he bitter because I have a future in this life and his is winding down? No. He lay there, helpless, with sores on his bottom, a model of integrity.
He spoke to me about how the picture a my 8th grade teacher took of us dancing during the Valentine's Day dance at school. I was picked on in the 8th grade. When I saw that picture posted on the classroom wall I thought it would fuel more bullying. Instead the other girls were jealous.Their dads never danced with them. I got a copy of that picture, put it in a cheap frame and gave it to my dad for Christmas. He still treasures it - cheap frame and all.
He told me that my daughters (and son) are beautiful - they look like their mother. (For the record they look like my husband's side of the family.)
When I complained that my youngest daughter had been fussy and only wanted mama, he laughed and told me it was because I was doing such a great job. He told me it was a sign of trust.
He thanked me for raising his grandchildren with love and discipline.
He thanked me for bringing the children over.
When I had to leave (the baby was fussy) he told me that it was my job to take care of my children, not to worry about him. Right now my children are safe in bed. I worry about my dad.
I love my dad. He's awesome.
Writing all this, I realize that it's easier to do those silent, hidden, tedious tasks set before me with great love because I am loved. I also have someone whom I adore who believes in me.
One day, sooner or later, my father will die. My mother, with all of her problems, died, if not at peace, then in hope. I believe that she is now in heaven.
Ladies, we all come from God's imagining. Our potential is greater than we can ever comprehend. We are born. We are broken. We are scattered. If we are very lucky, our lives become a love song, sung in harmony with those who have dared to sing since the dawn of humanity. Maybe the tune will continue without our voices, but the result will be greatly diminished. We are unique. We are important. We are a single thought given form and freedom to become greater in our capacity to love.
When I held my son for the first time I stopped seeking knowledge and began seeking wisdom.
It isn't that my children deserve "the best". They deserve the best from me. And my father, in his helpless, childlike state, knows that the only thing to regret is that which we failed to do for others with great love. That and not being able to play on the ground with the grandkids. But now I'm crying again.
May God continue to bless you.