Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Messy Miracle of Mothering

A sharpened pencil.

A coffee cup.

Five million multi-colored brick Legos.

A hoodie.

A piece of junk mail.

That damn bag of clothes that has yet to make its way to the Goodwill.

A backpack.  A half eaten apple.  A water bottle.  A ziplock bag with old goldfish.

I pick up each one and clench them in my hands, my arm pit, my mouth and I travel...delivering one by one to a different room or the trash can internally cursing that this is the sad story of my life.

I begin a lecture in my head of how I am not an indentured servant and that these God damn kids are going to start carrying their weight or I'm going to kick their asses out onto the front lawn.

And then tonight happens.  I witness my 11-year old son cross over from a cub scout into a full, fledged boy scout and on the way home I remind him of his orthodontist appointment when he gets braces on his bottom teeth.  A few hours earlier,  I encourage my 8-year old sweet daughter to practice over and over again her presentation on the great state of Maine (side note: did you know that chewing gum was invented in Maine and that they are the producers of more toothpicks per capita than any other state in the union?).   And moments before that, my 5-year old gives me a talking to about taste testing healthy foods and the particulars of dancing the waltz with her preschool classmate.

It's all happening in front of my eyes.  The growing up part.  The changing.  The reaching of milestones.  The becoming their own people thing that children do when you don't even know it.

The hardest part is that it's mixed in with incessant screaming because no one listens and the repeating of the same instructions over and over again until I just want to throw myself off a bridge or drive to Mexico all the while simultaneously taking each other for granted because that's just what happens when you're a part of a family.

So just when you're moments from pulling your hair out and ready to sell your children to the first bidder, you realize that something magical is happening in the mix of the ridiculously tedious, impossibly hard and painfully mundane.  You realize that you're doing it.  You're raising beautiful, miraculous, stunningly imperfect, gorgeous human beings that take your breath away.  And in that one moment, you decide that it's worth it and you can get up again tomorrow and vow to try all over again.

Picking up the

sharpened pencil

coffee cup

half eaten fill in the blank

And that this is all part of the messy miracle you get to witness.  The amazing, ugly, embarrassingly frustrating, more beautiful than you could imagine gift of mothering.

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