I understand that need.
Sometimes motherhood seems so lonely.
Like everyone has it all together and we’re the only ones who need someone to just say that it will be okay. Or bring us coffee from Starbucks. So because of that I’m going to tell you a story from my life and remind you of the truth.
It was a story that happened a couple years ago – that I discovered in my archives that to me, is so poignant. Not because it’s anything crazy outstanding, because, well, it’s real.
This is what I found…
…You see, yesterday, my four year old decided to battle against the handles of my television cabinet.
The cabinet won.
And not just a slight win. The full blown hands down win.
I had this to-do list that was threatening to win too.
But, instead, I sat at my table, on the worn bench with crevices so deep that they catch the remnants of crumbs from the day, and held ice to the cut underneath his eye. As I held that bag of cold ice wrapped in a dishcloth to his eye, while counting 1,2,3, and so, I cuddled that boy, that growing boy of mine and told him he was so brave.
I whispered to him how brave ones sometime need moments with their mom to recharge their braveness. His little body gave those exhales of feeling safe and he just rested in my arms.
My kitchen counters needed wiping.
Dinner needed to be put in the oven.
The living room floor needed vacuuming.
Those deep crevices on my bench needed to be cleaned.
The to-do list instead of shrinking, was now, in fact growing.
But they waited.
They waited because in those moments when the sun danced on the horizon and the night sky began it’s take over motherhood won.
Motherhood with all the normal moments and juice poured in cup moments and little moments and ups and downs and crazy times where I’m wondering to myself why in the world did he decide spinning in circles was a fabulous idea? because, after all, that’s why he now was sporting his gash by his eye.
Motherhood is filled with sweeping up sugar and cheese and crumbs of bread. There are times standing at the bottom of the stairs feeling so exasperated at the amount of legos that are littering the floor above. There are times wondering when I’ll ever remember to switch the laundry quick enough. There’s rocking, holding ice, and teaching math. There are so many days of me yelling for everyone to hurry up in the morning and wondering at the same time where I left my keys.
It’s this crazy tapestry of unrelated events that woven together create a mom.
It’s a smorgasbord of days that one can never prepare for but one must find them walking through.
Days where you just want to say are you kidding me? didn’t we just clean this room twenty minutes ago and you got the brilliant idea to dump every single sorted box into one big pile? It’s of letting go of that perfection tendency and realizing that the neatly labeled boxes that you bought for $14.99 on sale will probably never look like you thought you should. It’s filled with days of yoga pants and dresses and pony tails and mascara dotted on in a rush before running them to the car and in the school line.
Then there are days like tonight.
Tonight after a day of ordinary – where I sat exhausted in my room mulling over everything left to accomplish.
And then my Elijah, my precocious six year old who was twirling with his four year old brother who now sports a gash, comes out of his room. My voice is simply tired, simply worn, and I utter the exasperated, Elijah…go to bed. The boy looks at me, with those eyes that I love, and simply leans in, kisses his momma’s cheek, and rests his head.
He simply needed to be.
And in that moment I saw. I saw why holding ice matters. Why letting the to-do list go matters. Why cooking those meals matters. Why negotiating computer time matters. Why it all matters.
It’s not so I can go to bed with a completed to-do list.
It’s because in it all life is about those simple moments that we often forget.
It all adds up and those days that feel pointless are actually beautiful….
Even in the lonely moments.
So sweet friend reading these words who just needs a moment to breathe and remember – that’s what I would tell you if we were sitting together chatting about motherhood. I’d tell you about that day – I tell you to remind you of how brave you are too – just like I told Samuel he was brave. I’d tell you about all the ordinary things that you do and how grateful I am that you do them for your family.
And I’d simply tell you this.
Holy moly. I’m proud of you.
That’s the truth that friends tell each other.
ps. My Samuel is now six. Sometimes you think those days will last forever, but alas the do not.