Summer's over. And, it kinda makes me sad. Oh, no. I'm not harboring any silent wishes to be in charge of schooling my kiddos--but, I did feel like we were getting to a great place of synchronization. Or, maybe...I felt like I was just opening my eyes to a big "mommy-ing" revelation.
Throughout the summer, I felt like I was getting bits and pieces of a bigger lesson (ever get that feeling?)... and the week before school started--I felt that many of the pieces came together, so I grabbed my phone, and began furiously typing thoughts as they came (in between dinner prep and cleaning up and....). Here are those thoughts, which I think I need to post somewhere in my house, to keep them fresh in my mind. I'm so good at forgetting.
Being a good mom means learning to live in the tension of constant companionship. Learning to lean into it--to feel the prickle of annoyance or desire for solitude... and just sit with it for a while. Until you are used to it. Learning that this thing--this having new appendages, being wanted at every moment--though draining, is not meant to be escaped from, sighed over or bemoaned. Mothering is not our suffocation, stifling or suppression. It is our wings, our roots, our legacy.
I cannot do "checked out" mothering. Going through the motions, while my heart, mind and soul are somewhere else. Community--companionship--is only right and healthful when I am fully myself...my God-dreamed, God-formed self. When I am fully alive, fully living, fully accepting, fully giving. When I can not only laugh at the future--but at the messes and the bodies all tangled together on top of me...just wanting to be closer. When I lean in, seeking to sow love, perspective and security--while tenderly exploring the souls doing life with me. Seeking moments to bring them along side of me in my quiet times, my work times--rather than always retreating into my own mind and space, Avoiding the "I deserve this time away from the leeches" mentality... knowing I have sometimes found that "me time" can be the unhealthiest thing...especially when accompanied by martyr-like moans and groans.
I am the woman of the house. I am powerful. I create the spaces, I set the tones, I build the home. Learning to "do" community comes easier to some of us--thanks to differences in the home culture you were brought up in and/or your own personality. Whether or not you are naturally a "people-person", I am coming to believe that we can only truly learn to do deep, authentic community when we first practice it in our homes... and in this setting, I am the initiator. My tone makes or breaks the moment; my tempo nurtures or prods; my inward focus can miss the life marching by--or can be turned outwards and bring joy-filled focus to those around.
Being the woman of your house, the mother of your children is a hefty calling. It is hard and sometimes heavy--but I believe it can also be our salvation, when we embrace it and allow us to mold us. When we choose to shine our brightest light, be our best selves, in our homes. To strangle those dark whispers in the background of our minds that swear to us that we are poor, suppressed, down-trodden individuals... being sucked of our life and our potential. When we realize that these little patience-needers also help shine the light on areas within ourselves not fully yielded to God, not yet relinquished to His kingdom. When we believe that each child in our home has been divinely "matched" to us by God... we can open our hearts and souls to them, to this "job", and dive into sharing life--really living--with these kids. These wonders. These disciples.