Thursday, May 15, 2008
Deb (at right) wrote a post a few days ago, a poem really. It contrasting loving her job outside the home but loving her work within her home more. It resonated with me. I love my home more too. I love the work within my home.
Now that daboyz are out of high school they don't need as much from me as they used to. I won't lie to you, I don't mind their independence one bit. I still clearly recall having two little ones a year apart and the sense that I would never be "caught up." Laundry got the better of me as my plans to grow my own organic vegetables gave way to Happy Meals in the car. French fries are veggies, right?
I was not the homemaker of legend and lore. I was worn out and aggravated and believed with all my heart that potty training came exactly the day before I would lose my mind with one more diaper change. I did it, I pushed through and made myself do the things I knew were best for my kids. I don't regret staying at home (poverty not withstanding!) and I'm glad it's done with. The little kid era that is. As they get into their own cars to go do their own thing I breathe a contented sigh that the carpool days are a distant memory.
Now I find myself rediscovering the joy of caring for my family. I am also not one of those superwomen who work forty hours and come home to weave sweaters for their family. I come home tired. I come home and make dinner and tell the Mr. to clean the kitchen. I can no longer do it all, I've already done at last eight hours. But every evening daboyz come home for dinner and I have rediscovered the joy of putting a good meal in front of them and watching them contentedly eating and talking about their day. Mac needed new shoes for his new landscaping job and his dad and I took him shopping much like the old back-to-school days and I liked getting him ready for this next new adventure.
On my weekends off I change sheets, make beds and do laundry. We grocery shop and plan a fun meal for Saturday evening, usually movies to watch. I dust and vacuum and do all the chores that fall in the shadow of the work week. This is my weekend pleasure, suspending the world outside to make a home and care for its inhabitants. Living in this new old larger house we've hosted a few family get-togethers and had some friends over. Planning meals to feed a crowd, hosting and making a place for others to be welcomed is work that renews instead of drains.
In my busiest most frenzied days, I always loved the care of my family and my home. I haven't always been graceful in it, but it has always been my deepest source of worthwhile work.
Discovering a dish that everyone loves. Welcoming my boys in from the winter cold to a warm house and a hot cup of tea made just how they like it. Putting out lawn chairs and visiting on cool days outside with hot coffee. Good smelling t-shirts fresh from the laundry. Crisp cool sheets and fluffy pillows on our beds. Making the tossed salad that we all four love that is my own special mix. My son sitting next to my father learning guitar cords. My husband playing fetch with our puppy. My gramma's dead dogwood blooming.
This world moans with hopelessness and scurries after busyness. I think we have forgotten what is worthy of sore muscles and tired bodies. We must not fail to weave all that we are into our family. We must never give more to that which is outside our door than that which is inside our walls. If we have not discovered our purpose in nurturing and giving the gifts only we can give to our parents, our children and our spouses; then we may die with no legacy even if our bank accounts groan with gold.
Is there anyone for whom you can make a home?