Hello Dear Friends,
I like that this site is still small enough that I can call you that. It’s a part-time job for me now, you know… the dollars that trickle in here and there help pay our bills. When your job is the same thing as your passion, you are on holy ground and you breathe gratitude in and out daily (err, almost daily?).
Nevertheless, when I write here in this space I imagine myself sitting in my living room with you on the couch diagonal from me, our bodies are angled to one another in vulnerability as we sip on a hot cup of coffee or tea, waving our hands around wildly as our eyes grow big and talk about stuff that matters.
So often I talk about the most mundane things, like cloth wipes or crock-pot spaghetti sauce or how to quit being so freaking overwhelmed by Mt. Laundry. But actually, dear friends, aren’t those the things that really matter? Isn’t your heart laid bare by the way in which you participate in those mundane, mind-numbingly common things?
I can talk grandiose, opinionated weighty matters for days if you get me going, but when no one is looking? When the dishes are threatening to mutiny and the child-rearing is more challenging than wrangling wild horses, how does my heart of hearts appear then? Does my ungrudging participation in the dailyness of life’s rhythms testify to a contented heart?
That’s part of why I write those things here, you see: because all of the messy and mundane life of a mother is important, and though you may feel invisible most of the time, I see you. I see you in my own reflection, and I know that your heart runs deep and fast like a river, tumbling and roaring to valiant efforts of assuming a posture of gratitude despite the desire to wail on the floor some days for a good ol’ fashioned tantrum.
That’s what really makes you a good mom, you know. It’s not about never feeling angry, grumpy, or utterly overwhelmed with defeat, but rather choosing to courageously step forward anyway. Do the next thing. And then the next one, and the one after that. Just keep on loving.
There are dance parties and a million kisses in between the moments of sheer irritation because your 5-year-old got sassy and your eyes flashed with an angry, teeth-clenching moment of desperation only to be saved by him ending his sassy tirade with “ya boob!” which makes your anger dissolve into unexpected, tear-streaming laughter. Because: laughter is the best medicine is true in more ways than one.
This life of liturgical laundry and netflix and so much ordinary is rife with discontent. But let’s give a little pushback on that, shall we? Can we declare that what we do is important, even if it is small?
As Rolheiser so rightly points out:
“The mother who stays home with small children experiences a very real withdrawal from the world. Her existence is definitely monastic. Her tasks and preoccupations remove her from the centres of power and social importance. And she feels it. Moreover her sustained contact with young children (the mildest of the mild) gives her a privileged opportunity to be in harmony with the mild, that is, to attune herself to the powerlessness rather than to the powerful.”
It’s true, isn’t it? It’s not the most glamorous job by any stretch of the imagination, but it is, in fact, unexpectedly important.
When we take care in the smallest details of our lives – the ones that nobody else will see – we begin to see what really matters. It’s the valiant living that we choose for ourselves in the middle of the mobocracy* of life that defines us, and in turn, propels us.
These are the important days, and these are the beautiful things that matter.
Let us valiantly choose to live them well.