Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another Yawp!

Hey folks! It's been a crazy month, and I haven't really updated for a while. And next week I'll have some great posts on the Brooks Summer Concert Series and Halloween (fantastic!).....

But for now, these are the thoughts--really, the declarations--that have been running through my head this week.

And because this blog is more for my children than anyone else out there, this one will be a little personal; and it actually may not make any sense to anyone else. But I need to get it written down; declared, as it were.

Let's call it My Mommy Mantra.

For those of you who have read very many of my blog entries (or who just know me well), you know that I really can fret about my motherliness (is that a word?). There are fantastic weeks interspersed with weeks where I officially decide I have zero maternal instincts, and my poor children would be better with--well, frankly, with my sister down in New Mexico (but really, everyone's children would be better off with her, even the ones with great moms).

This fretting, I know, is not new or unique to me. It's a mom thing. And I realized (perhaps re-realized) some things this week--a revelation, really. The revelation I had this week actually started with some scriptures from Isaiah (this is where it may not make sense for a moment or two--bear with me, I shall explain):

"But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

"Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments...

"Shake thyself from the dust; arise.... loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion."

Confused yet? Let me see if I can illuminate it for you the way it was illuminated to me....

I do this! I listen to amazing, accomplished women tell me that I'm not living up to my potential because I sit at home and play mom every day of my life. That I'm wasting my brilliance (and I'll admit it, I am rather brilliant) with meaningless tasks. They never come out and say motherhood isn't noble--even most of the worldly women recognize the importance of mothers--but they say it isn't enough. I'm not doing enough; I'm not being enough. I should be mother and career woman and community chair and PTA president and a scholar and..... on and on. I shouldn't just be a housewife.

And I buy it. They criticize my role, they say, "Bow down, that we may go over." And I do! I "lay my body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over." All too often I agree with their criticism. I say, "You're right. Look at everything you're accomplishing in this wide world. I'm doing nothing." I bow down. I let them walk all over me.

And this last week, after much pondering and discussion with dear friends and watching the beauty of my children--mostly after just watching my beautiful children--I was jolted. I was awakened!

My children--my 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, all-consuming job called Coren and Risa--they are my strength! Yes, they wear me out; but they vitalize me too. When they learn new skills, accomplish new tasks, they want to tell me about it. Their mother. When they need to feel loved in this big empty world, they come to me--and no one else will do. I am their mother. I am their love and their strength and their confidence. What CEO can claim that kind of primal importance? What professor or PTA president is that irreplaceable? What more beautiful garments are there for me to wear than those of motherhood..... Yes, of exhausting, monotonous, unrecognized, menial, enabling, empowering motherhood?! And if I have fulfilled that most unpraised of roles, I will have helped to create strong, able, decent people that will change the world. I can never do that as a scholar or a career woman or a community chair or whatever--not at such depth; not with such power. Only, only as a mother.

There is a fantastic quote by E. T. Sullivan, one that vibrates in me every time I hear it, that straightens my shoulders:

"When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn't stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in some simple home of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother's heart, and she puts it into the baby's mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces of the world are not the earthquakes and thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies."

I am that obscure mother, creating that thunderbolt of change, one weary day at a time. One beautiful day at a time. One irreclaimable day at a time.

I shook myself from the dust this week. I arose a mother. A happy mother. Loosed from my band of fear and failure and inadequacy. I am a mother, and I hope I give honor to the title. I am a mother, and I hope I never take a day for granted. I am a mother--isn't that marvelous?!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happiest Place!

Well, we took a little trip, 
took a little trip, 
took a little trip... to Cali! 
And it was so lovely! 
I could have stayed another week, it was so lovely!

We did many things and had much family fun. For sure!

But the highlight of the trip was definitely Disneyland.... So fantastic!!

The longest lines were a half-hour--beautiful! 
The weather was nice. 
It was really a perfect day for Disneyland.

Oh, and it was decked out for Halloween..... 
which means we got to see the Haunted Mansion in all its Nightmare glory!! 

And is it eerie that I'm so proud that the ride my son wanted 
again and again 
was "Jack"? 
And that he was so excited to go talk to Jack at the park? 
Fills me with joy.

And perfect timing for our family, too--both kids were free. 
And still, Coren could go on pretty much everything at the park.... 
And he did. 
Tower of Terror. Soarin' Over California. Thunder Mountain. 
Loved it all! 

In fact, he loved the big ones the best. 
A little thrill-seeker.... he's going to be an expensive teenager. 
But I'm glad he doesn't shy away. 
Glad he loves the big and the fast and the slightly spooky. 
That he takes life by the horns. 
Love it!

It was a really happy day at the Happiest Place on Earth.

(And to all of you wonderful people in CA
that we missed this trip.... Sorry!
We will get you next time.
There's just never enough time in Cali.
But we love you all!)