8.16.2016

Reset...

My mom and dad came last week and were able to spend an entire day with us. Their life has not been conducive to longer stays because they have been spending the majority of their time, since my brother's death, caring for his children and settling the estate. So an entire day - we felt really blessed to have them for so long.  The double bonus was they stayed over for 2 of the 3 nights that Blake was away backpacking with the scouts. 

My mom helped me can some of our peaches, we went to the best park in town for the afternoon, and dad spoiled us with some Cafe Rio for dinner. It was all really wonderful. But the most wonderful thing of it all is the gift my mom brought to me.

My mom brought me her journals from when she was a young mom. She handed them over with the disclaimer, "I have not re-read them myself so be kind with what you find. I just keep feeling like there might be something of value in here for you during this time of your life."

Once I found a journal left in a shopping cart at Wal-mart, it took all my willpower to not smuggle the thing home and read every last word but to turn it into costumer service instead. So with that background in mind, think how giddy I was to crack into my own mother's history. I was so excited to read into her thoughts and feel validated in the demanding role that she once fulfilled and that I am now desperately trying to scrape out myself.

I expected to find myself in her pages. A mother struggling under the burden of too many children living on too much land with a too busy husband. I expected the same resentment that sits bubbling on the surface of most my days to be spilled forth in ink and words. I expected some "Why me's?" and some "I can'ts." and just one "I am done." in it all.

But no, I did not find a kindred spirit, what I found was so much better. 

She loved it. She truly loved being a young mom. Her children were recorded as glorious creatures with occasional "impish" behavior as she called it. Her role as mother filled her and she felt pride as she lay down exhausted each night knowing the work she did exceeded the value of any worldly pursuit. Her husband was her dearest friend and greatest supporter. Her world was lovely and idyllic as she talked of the joy of being snowed in for 3 days, while my dad was away on a work trip, so she could play games with the 5 children (she was expecting her 6th) and do some much needed mending.

Could you imagine the blog-moaning I would be doing if I was unable to leave the house for 3 days while Blake was away?

It wasn't what I was expecting. But it is what I needed.

When did I let motherhood become such a drudgery? Yes it is hard. Yes it is all-consuming. Yes it is a thankless job. But I am not going to give it up for anything else so why do I let myself become miserable?

Because I forget.

 I forget to enjoy the sun streaks in their hair. I forget to kiss that spot between chin and neck that is pure baby fat goodness. I forget to listen to their dreams (and not the big lifetime aspiration ones but the ones from nighttime when they come find me early in my bed to list every nonsensical detail). I forget to go on long walks. I forget to let them stir the cookie dough. I forget that dirty dishes and dirty laundry and dirty faces are all signs of life and that my life is full.

I know me and I know my mom and neither of us would have done well with life that was anything but to-the-brim-some-sloshed-over-the-side full.

It is what we were made for.

Thank you for the reminder mom.

It was just what I needed to hear in order to enjoy this last week of summer break with "my tribe."

5 comments:

Jo said...

Sweet, sweet, sweet. Connie is wonderful and so is her baby Cyndi!

Jana Weaver said...

Wow! What a special gift!

Britt said...

Interesting that you wrote about this this week. I'm teaching a lesson on personal journals on Sunday, and the curriculum goes right along with what you said about your moms journals.

connie said...

Ooh cyndi...you exceed me in mothering in so many ways. I am always in awe of you. I had my moments that are not recorded.... of throwing in the towel..They have been forgotten like child birth pain because you Kids are my treasure and legacy. Thanks for the tribute. You are my reward for any Good I did.

connie said...

Ooh cyndi...you exceed me in mothering in so many ways. I am always in awe of you. I had my moments that are not recorded.... of throwing in the towel..They have been forgotten like child birth pain because you Kids are my treasure and legacy. Thanks for the tribute. You are my reward for any Good I did.