... since moving into the new house,
... which has barely beige walls,
... painted in flat paint
... I have had many opportunities to clean these...
(okay, quite honestly, the only times I have really cleaned them are times when company is coming, and I suddenly look around and see all of the little 'handy' work of the kiddos on the walls)
... and I oftentimes chant to myself something my mom has told me before, "you will miss this when they are all gone... you will miss this when they are all gone..."
On one particular wall-wiping occasion, which took a bit longer than usual, thanks in part to our lovely Joshy, who by the looks of the walls was afraid he would forget how to find his way back up from the basement, so made himself a little chocolate hand trail to follow... I started thinking about 'leaving your mark on the world' and began a thought process that I will attempt to recreate here...
WARNING: kind of weird, deep-thoughtish-not-completely-put-together thoughts coming through...
There. Consider yourself warned...
I started thinking about the role of motherhood (which started out with something like, "really? REALLY?! Will I REALLY miss this when they are all gone?!)...
And I started thinking about how in today's society the actual role of mother is so knocked down. Sure, people give it the 'lip service' like saying, 'oh, motherhood is the hardest job of all'... or, 'every mother is a working woman'...
But, unless one has truly been in the trenches, day in and day out, reorganizing your schedule for the 97th time because you suddenly find yourself cleaning the completely dumped out bottle of sunscreen all over the floor, or fabric softener filling your purse, or get all the kids loaded into the car only to find the last one has had a major diaper blow-out, I don't think those lip service phrases mean anything. There really is no way you can describe the role of a mother with any cliche or catchy phrase.
Mother hood is...
... simply indescribable.
In both good and bad ways. It's tough. It's awesome. It's sweet. It's stinky. It's fun. It's depressing. It's enchanting. It's lonely. It's pretty much every emotion, every day, every minute showing one extreme change with some sort of emergency or fire to stamp out in some aspect.
... and then there are the moments of 'ahhh' when you can find an eye of the storm to just sit and be.
... but then you feel too guilty for simply be-ing.
... so you get up and get busy doing something
... because, c'mon, at the end of the day, you have to have something to show for all of your work.
... and dishes don't seem to count, you did those yesterday.
... and laundry, also a ditto from yesterday (although you would never know it as clothes have come from nowhere to build a replica of mt. everest in the laundry room).
... and vacuuming, well, you did it this morning, but no one could possibly tell because not one single vacuum line remains in tact.
... and the glistening toilets just hours before are now smoldering pots of sewage left by recently potty-trained-yet-not-expert-aiming users.
... and all the poopy diapers you changed during the day... well, those are just better left in the garbage.
... so what exactly is it that you have to show that you have actually made your mark on the world?
... I am so not an expert in this arena by any means, nor do I propose to have all of the answers.
... but in this particular moment of time (of wiping down Joshy's chocolate trail home), somehow, somewhere, I found great satisfaction in knowing that I was (hopefully) making my mark in the hearts of 5 little souls that Heavenly Father has gingerly placed in my care. Though I couldn't put any tangible name to the mark, I became acutely aware of just how important the 'Mother's Mark' is on the heart of every child who enters this world.
... I have felt my own mother's mark every moment of every day, in ways that I'm sure she will never be aware of. Tiny things that as I look back on my own little lessons in life that I learned at her side, and that I now call back upon as I go through my own moments of wondering what in the world I should do at this particular juncture and can easily answer with a simple question, "what did my mom do in this type of situation?"
... more often then not, the answer is, "she always, always put the needs of her children first, made sure they were comfortable, fed, clothed, kissed, hugged, changed, etc etc before she took one thought for her own comfort or her 'alone' time"
... that is a mark that can never be erased in the soul of a child who learned the love of a Heavenly Father through the role of a mother.
... that is a mark that I will work everyday to re-create in the hearts of my own children
... will I be able to create the 'mother's mark' in my own children?
... I may never know in this lifetime...
... but one thing I do know - they have left marks in my heart that will last much, much longer than a chocolate handprint on the wall.
... and yes, I think I will miss those tiny prints guiding my kids back from their basement adventures once their adventures lead them outside the walls of my home and the grasp of my arms.
... so for now, I will be content to wipe off the wall marks, and try to etch in my own marks on their tiny precious hearts.