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.

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.


Tanja said...

Thank you for sharing!!!

Tanja said...

By Lisa Frost

One day as I trudged wearily
Down a path not far away,
I came upon a bright old man
Traveling the other way.

He walked along with a jaunty step
That was so free and light,
While his smile shone like the fullest moon
Upon the darkest night.

When our paths did meet I begged of him
To stop but a little while,
For I had to ask in bafflement,
“Dear sir, why do you smile?”

“For I walk this road every single day
Through wind and rain and sun,
And for each heavy step I tread
I wish the journey done.”

The man replied in a merry voice
That was music to my ears,
“My friend, I’ve learnt a thing or two
Throughout my many years.”

“While it’s great to have a purpose
From which you do not stray,
More important by far it is to love
Your journey along the way.”

To that reply I looked askance
And voiced my inner doubt,
“How can you love a well-worn path
That rambles all about?”

“For it does not run straight and true
Towards my desired goal,
Instead it wastes my precious time
With all its bumps and holes.”

“And do you know the worst thing of all,
That makes me quite lose heart?
While every morning I reach the end,
Each night I’m back at the start!”

That wise old man smiled knowingly
And gently turned to say,
“You won’t travel very far in life
Marching the same track every day.”

“You think that to gain your far off dreams
This path needs to re-arrange,
But there’ll never be a different end
Unless you decide to change.”

“To reach a dream that seems remote
You must round every bend,
Instead of always turning back
To retrace your steps again.”

“And once again I say to you,
If I might be so bold,
While the dream may be the silver,
The journey is the gold.”

“For every person’s true desire,
Throughout their very soul,
Is to live a life of love and joy.
To be one and true and whole.”

“It is our hope most precious,
To connect with all the Earth,
To feel life’s energies within
All moments from our birth.”

Then he answered my next question,
Which was very simply, “How?”
“Just live each day inside your heart.
See the beauty of right now.”

“For no matter if the path you step
Is an old one or a new,
Behold it with the eyes of your soul
To find wonder in all views.”

“When you are grateful for all the world
As a gift from up above,
You’ll realize that what you’re doing
Is simply allowing love.”

“And when that love completely fills
Every crevice of your heart,
Your journey will be one of joy
- What you wanted from start!”

Then satisfied he’d made his point
This great man did turn away,
To continue down the splendid path
Of magic in every day.

Since that encounter I have walked
Many roads towards my goal,
With forever his gift inside my heart:
To love this moment with all my soul.

Mandi said...

This is a book I love and I think you would too.


Jason said...

Diapers and pee and peas certainly aren't very glamorous, but thanks for being such a wonderful mother to our three children anyways.

You're everything to me.

Kristin said...

Well written. Thanks for sharing.

I know those kinds of days like the one you described. Sometimes its hard to measure the value of the work you do, but maybe that's because its priceless, and the true value simply cannot be measured.