There is a line in a song called Fifteen that says something like
“this is life before you know who you’re gonna be…”
I heard this song today and I realized, heavily, that I am probably already “who I’m gonna be.” I wondered if there was more.
I wondered if there is more for me. Am I going to do something considerable someday? Something significant? Or will I remain in this small corner of the world…in this small house…unknown as I am. Is this it?
And then I reflected upon my life as it is…
Yesterday, I bought groceries.
I did homework with a 5 year old boy.
I diapered and clothed a two year old little girl. Several times.
I fed children. Many times.
I cleaned up after children. Many times.
I paid out allowances.
I worked on accounting.
I cleaned the shutters in the kids’ rooms. (That was gross, and sorely overdue.)
I helped organize my daughter’s room. (Also sorely overdue).
I trimmed the plants in the yard.
I helped my son and daughter with their homework after school.
I filled and ran the dishwasher.
I cooked a warm, nourishing meal for their supper.
I read them books and tucked them in bed.
And then, exhausted, I too drifted off.
This is it for me?
This is it. I am their mom.
It is dirty at times, and it is mundane at times and it is thankless at times. And it is nothing that millions of other women haven’t already done before me with their own children.
The rewards are intangible, and they are known only to me. I am paid with the feeling of a small hand clinging tightly to mine. I am paid with red ringlets and wispy blonde locks.
I am paid with the perfume of little boys that have been playing football outside….I am paid with their ruddy cheeks and their skinned knees and their freckles.
I am paid with the drawings of a little girl. Depictions, always, of her and me, together.
I am paid with their laughter and with the breathtaking view of them as they sleep. I am paid with the warmth of a child in my arms, his breath on my neck, the sound of his voice in my ears.
I am paid with the smallest child, asking simply “Play…me?”
Here in this little house, I am sculpting human beings.
I am molding little hearts.
I am forming little minds.
I am responsible for the very lives of four small people.
Is there truly anything bigger than this?