Mostly I think my life is ordinary and boring. I’ve wiped a lot of noses, changed hundreds of diapers, done endless loads of laundry and generally repeated myself several thousand times a day to no avail. On paper my life doesn’t look all that impressive and it certainly isn’t a winning any contests. My oldest two children are rolling around on couches like wrestling bear cubs and my youngest is generally trashing the previously clean living room. I am still in my pajamas.
Like many mothers, my to-do list is longer than my energy reserve will last and I wonder which things will fall off it again, how many fewer hours I can sleep at night and whether I can invent new ways to multitask. But the part that isn’t seen on the surface is the real story.
The five year old whose brain works faster than his limbs and requires verbal reminders and incessant physical touch to stay connected to the world. The two year old whose gestation and birth cost me large amounts of my sanity and yet he is my gift, the closest to an easy going kid I am apparently able to produce. My eight year old and lone girl in our family who needs constant reassurance that she is loved and yet seems to test that resolve daily.
The dream of books not finished and those yet to be started, both to read and to write. Yards of fabric, skeins of yarn, walls begging for paint, the world around me begs for creativity and beauty but I feel chained to the needs of the little people clinging to me. Even now as I scratch out these few words, the shrieks of the two year old call me back. This is not all there is for me, but it is a big part right now.
Right now. Those are the words I must remember. This is not forever. While I can’t accept letting everything wait until later, I must yield temporarily to this important work, even though it doesn’t feel impressive or look pretty. I may not have complete say in my story but I can decide what kind of character I want to be–bitter or thankful, willing or resentful. There is much left to be written.