I fuss over the layers of laundry that are left steps away from the shower. I sweep up clots of dirt that are trekked in from walks to the mailbox and the barn. And our days are full with school and chores and meals and activities. Mothering almost feels easier in the daytime when it’s mixed with the busy and hectic. But it’s the hushed evenings, when the front doors are locked and the nightlights glow that my thoughts commence. Did I love them enough today? What are they thinking when they’re tucked in bed, comforter to chin?
The guilt tiptoes in.
Did they remember that I kissed their foreheads before breakfast? Or that the clicking of the keys was too constant? I nursed the computer today. Stories for the newspaper sit, waiting to be written and a deadline for devotions loom. “Just a quick phone interview,” I say over my shoulder. And half an hour later, the probing questions continue.
And these little ones of mine, they pay no mind to twitter or blogs or comments or what a distant friend had for dinner on Facebook.
My daughter catches me in the kitchen. We have whispered conversations about the boy she daydreams of. She comes to me when there is nothing in my hand but a spatula. Her heart pours when the modem rests. How many times did I miss these chats while thinking I could cook and check emails at the same time?
And he prefers his feet off the ground. Scratches and band aids are the tattoos that don’t wash off nine-year old boys. “Please stop getting all scraped up in those trees,” I say with my elbows deep in suds. “I don’t want girl legs,” he quips back with a furrowed brow. I jot it down because it makes me laugh. He is comfortable weaved among the limbs. Soon enough he’ll be lured back down with the rest of us.
I’m beginning again with this young baby child, the child of my 30’s. Motherhood seems sweeter with age. The tugs on the leg and the concentration that requires sounds of moo and quack. And Winnie the Pooh and Elmo have found their way back into our den. At night they peak through fabric lined baskets.
Years ago I lugged the video camera out when they were dressed in their Sunday best, shiny shoes and monogrammed bibs. But it’s the ordinary I’m recording now. It’s the grass stained jeans and the tousled ponytails that are worthy of capture.
And these are the pieces of motherhood that I don’t want to miss. And these are the people who make motherhood worth writing about.
I’m submitting this for a scholarship entry to attend She Speaks Conference in Charlotte July 22-24. I almost didn’t enter, but my sweet husband said, “How can you win a game when you don’t even try to make a shot?” (He’s full of basketball analogies this ACC weekend!). But the truth is, I entered last year and didn’t make it. And rejection stings a little. But since then, I’ve blogged more, continued to write for a weekly newspaper, sold a couple more stories and contribute devotions for Zookeepers Ministries. Motherhood and writing make my heart swoon. I feel a great tug to write words that encourage and strengthen mothers and feel as if I could greatly benefit from the She Speaks conference.
For more information about the She Speaks Conference this July 22-24, visit shespeaksconference.com