Pondered the word self this week. Something along the lines of “I’d like time for myself” or “I’d like to have my body to myself” and how self-less is supposed to be a good thing. Honourable, certainly, but without self, who am I, anyway? Mama, ah, yes. Selfish, maybe, but I could use a little me in my life.
I yearn for poetry. It rattles around my brain, but never near a pen or keyboard or moment to cultivate the fleeting words. And music, I want to belt harmony and learn to play banjo. And art, I long to get messy and make beauty. And knowledge, seminary whispers my name.
I think I know that it won’t always be this – this balancing of babe on hip while finding counters to make snacks on, the never-ending laundry from the almost potty-trained and the profuse spitter upper. This exhausted sinking down after they’re asleep, looking at the still-to-do, deciding how much to work and how much to rest, only to have the baby wake again in less than an hour, and at least three more times before it’s time to get up again. I am hopeful that there is time on a someday down the line to cultivate all these parts of me on hold right now.
And then, of course, the guilt. I chose these – marriage and babies in my twenties. The jealousy of those around me who have time to do all the rest creeps in, despite my best efforts at gratitude and how much I love these boys.
So we weave it all together. Maybe it’s not what I mean when I say I want poetry, music, art, books. But we nursery rhyme our way through the days. Lullabies in harmony. Dollarama watercolours fill the kitchen art line, and the lessons in the children’s lit are just as true, if simpler (and maybe that’s what we need).
I am amazed at how parenting sanctifies. The things that are getting worked in and worked out of my character as I practice patience, learn gentleness, try to persevere, mine for joy, and learn to give thanks are beyond any lessons or character building I’ve experienced anywhere else.
More daunting than a blank page, these boys are my art right now, my character the poem, our home the harmony.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30