Friday, March 31, 2006

Sunhats and Homemaking

Disclaimer: The following is in no way intended to undermine the efforts of those not classified as homemakers. It's just about those that are...

I was in Kohl’s today and next to me in line were two women who appeared to be about twenty years my senior. One was holding a hat in her hands and asking her companion about whether it could be laundered. The second woman read the tag and they began an earnest discussion about cotton, laundering, ironing, how to maintain the shape through the process, etc.
Some of you are already thinking that this must have been the world’s most boring conversation. Not to me. To me it sounded like women who had learned the fine art of keeping a home. A fine art indeed, and becoming a lost art.
There are career women, home makers, young, old, college, and elderly women and every combination you can think of in between. Most women wear many hats but today I was thinking about the woman who calls herself a home maker.
I used to be a full-time home maker. For ten years I cooked, cleaned, and cared for our home and our two sons. I liked it. I never felt unfulfilled in any way but financially. Were it not for the need to earn a little cash to send daboyz to college, I'd still be a home maker. I have great regard for women who stay at home and create a soft place for their families to fall.
The women in Kohl’s today made me smile as they talked about how to launder a cotton sun hat. Homemakers are fascinated by this kind of thing, it’s science to them. Which stain removers work on which stains. Presoaking, cool irons, line drying. They also simmer, stir, baste, and marinade. They do things the hard way, the complicated way, the long way. They chaperone field trips and go days without putting on mascara. They sometimes become unglamourous. But I think they are beautiful.
I was most myself as a woman in the days of home making. I loved seeing to the finer details of our lives that honestly now get left in the dust. Is it truly important that our jeans are creased? No. But it was a detail born of loving care to the small things that I had time to see to. I was here when daboyz awoke in the morning and here when they came home after school. Dinners were hot, homemade and on the table. I had time to stay ahead of the game where now I often scramble to stay just a few steps behind.
So this is for you, homemakers. You who find your identity in the care of your family’s affairs. You who search far and wide for the perfect prom dress for your daughter, the socks your son likes best or the brand of lunch meat your husband prefers. You who wash your cotton sun hats. You who sit back at the end of a long day tired and smiling at the place you’ve created, your offering to your family, your home. You who are often suspicious you are unnoticed and under appreciated. By the way, you’re right on both counts.
For the details no one but you sees. For the career you left behind. For the potential you wonder if you’ve lost. For the money your bank account lacks. For the sacrifice of self to a greater cause that only you can see...thank you.

Proverbs 31:29
29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

Dedicated to my mom.


Birmingham Girl said...

Your mother must be awesome!

KayMac said...

What a great homage to Homemakers and stay at home moms!!