Monday, July 20, 2009

--to be a whole world

—To be the mom of a little one is to be a whole world—

I guess you sort of lose your identity in motherhood in a way. I sometimes thought about that, when I had time to think. As toddlers Joy and Joel were a bit of an attraction in the grocery store (the only place I really went) since they both sported brilliant red hair. Old ladies constantly stopped to chat with them in the grocery cart. Then they always turned to pregnant me and stated emphatically, “Enjoy them. They grow up so fast!” It wasn’t that I didn’t believe them; it’s just that the years from birth to kindergarten seemed so long. And I did enjoy them—everyone.

In many ways they were years I put away myself. I think I spent a lot of years afterwards searching for myself, only to realize one day that I’d always been, and I was just me.

I’ve also come to realize (now that I’m one of those “old ladies”) that the role of motherhood is a most fulfilling one after all—far greater than any class I’ve ever taught or any recognition anyone has ever given me. Beyond the diapers and the endless housework, beyond listening to little ones learning to read, beyond all-day Saturday wrestling tournaments and band concerts and choir concerts await a clean house, pressed clothes in the closet, weddings to people as precious as your very own kids, Sunday dinners (with adult children), and the sound once again of tiny, busy feet.

Of all the things Jay and I might accomplish in our lifetime, the one we’ll always feel most blessed about is our children. I guess when we became one, we really did lose our identities. Then we became 6, then 10, then more. And now, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else but who I am. I am a mom, and to be a mom is to be a whole world.

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