… is magical!
My inlaws are here with us for a while and we are making the best of it.
I wanted breakfast in bed today. Pizza, chocolate cake and coffee. And flowers. And a card telling me how good of a mother I am filled with overhyped adjectives just to make me happy. I wanted him to take on all the cooking and cleaning for a day so I could catch a break. A day’s break. Although I’m never truly desperate to break loose from my baby, the gesture would have meant a lot to me. But nothing happened. None of it. It was just another day.
And then, I locked myself up in the bathroom for a few minutes in the name of wanting to take a shower and read one of my favorite stories again. I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count but it has touched my heart every time and this time was no different, gave me a new perspective of my situation and urged me to look at the bigger picture instead. So I did. :)
So here. If you are feeling a bit crabby this mother’s day, then this one’s for you. #keepingitreal
The Invisible Mother
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”
Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel” ( Jersey Shore now:() I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”
Some days I’m a crystal ball; “Where’s my other sock?, Where’s my phone?, What’s for dinner?”
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”
In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
1.) No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.
2.) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
3.) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
4.) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.”
No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, no hockey/soccer/piano/Scout/school meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My Mom gets up at four in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he’d say, “You’re gonna love it there!”
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.
Author- Nicole Johnson
I take Mihi to a park close by almost every day. She loves the place and LOVES their swing and won’t get off of it without tears. I tell her that we have to give others a chance and we can come back later. She doesn’t care about what I have to say but I lure her with a toy or sing her favorite song and it works. Sort of.
When we went to the park today, it was slushy, cold and not to mention empty unlike every other day when it’s bustling with kids all around. After a few minutes on the swing Mihi put her arms up in the air followed by ‘haq haq haq’ (she means hug. And yes, she looks just as cute as she sounds- saying it). She got out of it voluntarily and just wanted to be held. Now, I don’t know why she wasn’t having it in her usual swing today but I chanced upon the fact that the big kids’ swing was free and took my cuddly baby with me. Six degree wind and grey clouds have never felt better. I hugged her tight and we started swaying. A few minutes in and without my knowledge, I was humming her favorite song, breathing in the scent of her strawberry smelling hair and reveling in the most magical embrace I have ever felt. And you know what? I know she felt it too. It was as if she was telling me ‘mama, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be’ with the way she was hugging me back and resting her face on my chest. Babies man! They tug at your heartstrings without the slightest hint and just when you think you could possibly not love your baby anymore than you already do, you surprise yourself.
… we found out I was pregnant.
I had spent the day at a friends’ and I casually happened to mention to her how my breathing rate and appetite had gone up all of a sudden, for no apparent reason. With a raised brow she asked me if I was pregnant. I laughed and shrugged off the possibility almost immediately with a – ‘What?! Noway! Pregnant? Nope!’ she grinned and excused herself to make us both some coffee. I was in the living room by myself and for a second there, my heart raced a thousand miles and my mind blanked the heck out. I had never been pregnant before, but I knew. I knew I was pregnant. I never could finish that coffee and left feeling strange in my own skin, with a lump in my throat.
What transpired over the next few weeks is a long story but what a terrific journey it’s been. I’m so thankful that Mihi chose our home. She is the absolute joy of our lives.