Thursday, October 1, 2009

being the (m)other one



It was cold this morning and misty when I hit the road at 5:20 walking.  Not so cold once we started climbing the hills, but it is October certainly.  "I'm thinking about my breakfast," I said during a small silence in the midst of other talk - which made my friend and I both laugh.  And when I came back  - the sky still dark - into the quiet house, the kitchen was full of the creamsicle smell of coconut orange rice bubbling gently in the tiny crockpot . . .

Young has been home from school with a bad cough, wrapped up in his robe, buried in the fifth Harry Potter book.  And I also read (as promised) - rasped though by this line describing a swordswoman in Pratchett's satirical fantasy - "too large to be a thief, too honest to be an assassin, too smart to be a wife . . . "  I mashed tomato paste through the sieve.  I ground wheat to make bread.  Ran another load of laundry.  Put the sheets and towels away.

This afternoon Middlest ran cross-country - the grass is green again from a month of intermittent rain, fallen leaves starting to spice the air.  She wears a purple jacket - it makes her eyes even more vivid green - her cheeks glowing with fresh air and exertion.  She PR'ed again this afternoon and stretches her arms ecstatically, eyes arching wide, feeling the vigor of her own strength.  Young and I wait for her in the car afterwards.  She comes in all at once like fresh air herself.

I want for her a life as vivid and vigorous as she is. 

And for myself, as well.

Not because I regret my life.  I chose.  But still I lately feel ashamed of all this tininess,  all this standing at the sidelines. I remember my mom like this in the years before she went back to school, on to graduate school, to a PhD program, to a practice of her own.

But I don't want to go back to school again (surely I am educated sufficiently?), as if erasing all these earlier years like they've been some kind of mistake.  I want to move on from here.  Move forward.

Though there are still other people's burdens to carry. 

For a few more miles anyway.





3 comments:

Mrs. Organic said...

I attended VT conference tonight and one of the speakers talked about the expectations we have when we first start out on this road of marriage and family. She mourned the loss of the big impact she was going to have on the world (and feels she hasn't) but then came to the realization that the impact she has on even one is something God counts.

And that all those impacts on "ones" add up to something bigger than she realized although they are smaller than she had planned on. She is someone very humble who has no idea just how meaningful she is in people's lives. How much people would love to emulate her spiritual strength, talents and successs in life.

Linnea said...

I like Elder Bednar's analogy of the painting: how the strokes themselves look so blah and ordinary -- just little streaks of yellow, brown and gold -- but when seen from afar they create a beautiful picture of a wheat field. Those ordinary daily tasks may not seem like much, but in the eternal scheme you are molding a masterpiece.

Emma J said...

I know, I know. But I'm hankering after some vividness right now. And rightly, I believe. I believe there is a hunger for good changes that we would otherwise never go after . . .

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