Today I've felt rather picked upon. Not by any one particular person, but rather picked on by my overall lot in life. I took a huge cruise down memory lane by sorting through old albums of my junior high papers, Girl Scout Wider Ops, HOBY leadership conferences, etc. As I leafed through this memorabilia, I couldn't help but feel special. I saw such great potential in the young girl looking back at me--honor student, first-chair musician, Girl Scout gold award--the warm fuzzies tickled me.
My happy voyage down memory lane was cut short, however, by the sound of my daughters quarreling in the room next door. I went in and discovered they'd gotten marker all over the bedspread and the floor. A comedy of errors ensued, involving poop smears in the bathroom, bead necklaces flushed down the toilet, newspaper clippings strewn all over the carpet, etc. A moment later Eli woke up from his nap screaming, and I wondered, is this really what I signed up for? Talk about wasted talent...
Woe is me. Can you hear the violin scratching out its pitiful tune? Rather pathetic, huh.
Well, tonight I experienced a much needed reality check as I scanned in some pages of family history after the kids had gone to sleep. I read about my great-grandmother Lovenia who helped settle Ucon, Idaho along with her husband Robert. I complain about washing the dishes; Lovenia had to chip ice, haul it on a sleigh, and melt it before she could wash hers. I'm overwhelmed with three children; Lovenia had eleven. I whine when Jason's gone for the evening. Lovenia's husband left for a mission after she had seven children and an eighth on the way.
If I think my lot in life is hard, perhaps I need to think again. In some ways, my life is so removed from those of my ancestors that it's hard to relate. I doubt they could have even imagined my life of comfort and convenience. Yet at the same time, I feel a deep connection with these women--such as an intense love of music that brought an organ across the plains. I've never dragged a piano over the mountains, but I did bring my french horn to Africa. :) Did they ever have moments when they wondered if their potential was "wasted?" Did they ever wonder if the thousands of little things they did really made a difference? Their work must have seemed so trivial and mundane to them, but to me it is inspiring.
Out of Robert and Lovenia's nine surviving children, every single one of them married in the temple. Their great-great-grandchildren are now raising families of their own with similar faith and commitment.
Lovenia may have been "just" a mother, but a mother can make all the difference.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Just a Mother
I wrote this entry in my personal journal about a week ago and decided to post it, just in case there are any other mothers out there who occasionally feel picked upon.