I’m jarred into the moment with a shrillness of a blaring fire alarm. Holding my ears, I rush through the kitchen, switch the burner off, grab billowing pan off stove, rush toward the back door to the deck. This is not a rare event. It’s at least a weekly one. I can’t say I hate cooking. I just like to cook occasionally. I won’t say I’m a pyromaniac, no that’s not it. I’d rather say I love to learn and think and write, and kids and husbands have to eat so often. If I’m ever to think deeply, put something down in writing, struggle over an idea, it will get in the way of cooking. So when I found this sign, I decided to proudly post the truth:) The sign is me, not only because I can be forgetful about meals themselves, but because I’m lacking nothing in the way of hugs and kisses to whatever kid or husband will take them! For the record, our fridge is always stocked with pre-made salad I put together, a pot of chili, home made bread (that’s Adored Husbands nightly ritual), nut and crasin packs, pre-boiled eggs, often a pot of soup. The freezer almost always has pre-made smoothies, corn dogs… you get the idea. It’s not that the family goes hungry. It’s just that spending 10 hours a day in the kitchen gets on my nerves.
There are ideas that float around Christian Circles -opinions sent through the “A Goldy Christian Woman would …” grid. Ideas that sometimes stand my hair on end, because they are ideas, not God Speak, and dump a whole lot of guilt on people for no good reason. Ideas such as a Godly Women will set aside who she for what the family needs “for a season” until kids leave the home, because time flies by. That particular idea is partially true for families who have 2 children, two years apart. However the idea lacks any validity at all for families who have many children, or families whose children are spaced out! – And anyone who knows are kids will agree we have spaced out kids:)… (OK, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the trees – plural.) We had our first (College Boy) when I was 26. I will be 60 when Butterfly heads off to college. Thirty-four years to be exact. That’s not a season, it’s one year short of 3 and a half decades – and during my prime. I don’t ever think it’s Godly to be selfish and so centered on what I enjoy that I ignore or neglect my kids and husband, however there is a fine line between caring for my family and loosing myself. If I don’t at times write, sing, climb a mountain, think a deep thought and express it, take a photo, write some more, I’m just a walking shell – a robot Mother, not myself. I’ve tried putting me on hold for years at a time, wondering why I’d eat for pleasure rather than fuel, struggle with a sense of meaninglessness, and experience frustration at the feeling of being a failure when it comes to being a mother. To be honest, I have never been able to come close to competing when it comes to birthday party events, volunteering at school, even keeping the house straight with the world all day every day. Age has given me the gift of easy does it…, it’s becoming clear that Mom’s come in all forms – even somewhat intellectual and bookish at times. Some Moms thrive on casseroles and wrapping gifts perfectly. Some can make casseroles and wrap gifts, but the tasks drain them rather than give them a sense of accomplishment. Just as some Dads will coach their kids sports, others may teach their child how to trade stock, how to pull an engine or how to think about Western Civilization. People are unique… that’s Mothers, too. When I embrace who I am, my children start to embrace who they are, their sense of value further develops, they become better servants, care for others on a deeper level by the development of their own esteem. Okay, I shouldn’t be burning up dinner once a week. This is true. The important thing is that no matter what has me deep in thought, I’ll not run out of hugs and kisses – well, not permanently, anyway:) My family might survive on peanut butter and jelly a long time, but wouldn’t last long without love.