I love spending all the hours with this sweet little girl. She is teething and into everything and sometimes throws her food, but honestly, that stuff doesn’t bother me much anymore. I was thinking yesterday about how every single stage of childhood brings it’s joys and tribulations, it’s challenges and it’s rewards, but it is all good in the end and all of it needs to happen. Sometimes when a stage gets frustrating, I think of the alternative. The alternative being that I don’t have little feet pattering after me constantly, and my house sits perfectly clean but empty, and there is no little body to cuddle which will always be a great excuse for a nap.
I remember reading a blog post years and years ago-a young mom had written about the loss of her little girl in a devastating drowning accident. She wrote the most heart wrenching post I’ve ever read, and it simply said how weeks ago she was so annoyed at the fingerprints left all over the house by her little toddler-she had just spent hours cleaning and was hustling and bustling to get ready for a family gathering and wanted just a little sense of accomplishment that would last more than five minutes. I think we can all relate. Life gets harried sometimes and we moms work hard for hours and days and years on end, and have lots of responsibilities. But now she wrote, what she wouldn’t give to see one of those little fingerprints back on the walls, how she looked and looked for them, hoping she missed a few here or there in her quest the last few days before the accident.
She wrote the post as a lesson for fellow moms, and it has stayed with me forever.
I want to always remember the work I am doing won’t last for long, it is fleeting, it is precious and not ever to be taken for granted. I will wish it back one day, I already look at the years and wonder where they’ve gone. There are women who would give anything to be in my place, whether struggling with infertility, or experiencing the sickness or loss of a child and wishing they could have every thing back the way it had once been.
It isn’t easy to see this larger scope but I have realized that when I take time every day, even just for a minute, to look at the bigger picture of mothering, it happens. If I stop my mind and cease “doing” I am able to see farther than what needs to be accomplished today, whether that be endless diaper changes, or laundry loads, or squabble settlements, or meal preparation. I can see beyond the little nuances of every age. The little complaints that can over take my mood become trivial. A feeling-sorry-for-myself moment can become a thank-my-lucky-stars moment. Cheerios stuck on the floor become sentimental, an unbroken night’s sleep becomes insignificant, the constant call of “mom!” becomes something I know one day will become too rare. It is an easy flip of the switch if I allow it to take place, and all it takes is time to stop and take a walk, sit down on the floor to play, take a moment or two or three to connect with a child.
The gift of motherhood should be treasured, no matter good or bad, endless or monotonous, rewarding or routine. There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing, there isn’t anything more important on earth, I know this with my whole heart.