25 September 2005

Reflecting on roles

Mary of the blogs I read are by mothers, and a lot of those are homeschooling their kids. That means that they are doing the yeoman's (-woman's!) work of being at home, caring for the house as well as training up their children in the way they should go.

It is so demanding. I pray for them, Father.

I am quite sure that they and I could cheerfully trade circumstances, for a little while...

but just for a little while.

They will miss their little ones, sooner rather than later. And I shall long for the quiet, my chorus of crickets, the occasional bark of a dog.

We are, in this moment, exactly where we should be. It is hard for mothers to know that, sometimes, when demands and fatigue impinge on one's peace. It is hard for me to know it, sometimes, when I ache with longing for my dear one and his children who will never be mine.

Mothers know how to manage a family, with all its myriad and swiftly-changing priorities, emergencies imagined and real, the daily round of laundry and meals, the endless cleaning, the schooling and counseling and listening to the papa when he comes in from work. I know how to detach in love from an alcoholic, work full-time and still be at the hospital every night for five months in a row, live in recovery from codependence, and survive a difficult marriage.

For some people, to live without family would be a blank.
For me, to live without family is a profound relief.

We are each exactly where we need to be, right this moment.

Someday, I might be in a family again. I might hold children, cook dinners, decorate, and hold a dear one. I cherish it as a sweet dream, a little something to enjoy in my soul once in a while, between meetings and phone calls. In the same way, a mother might cherish the dream of a day alone, kids safely cared for, time enough to read and nap and bathe and just be in the quiet house. Neither of us hold out much hope of it actually happening any time soon; but it might, someday; you never know. So we must respect each other's role in the world, and love each other, and pray for one another; for we do not know what the other feels.

God is good.

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