Friday, July 11, 2014

Breaking

This morning I was so tired.  Not sleepy, just tired.  I shared my bed with a ten pound little sleep bandit that insisted all night on hogging our bed, not to mention the milk producing parts of my body as well.  Dennis has been working almost round-the-clock on our new house, and the past few weeks have been as hot as Dante's ninth circle of hell.

Camden turned 10 yesterday, and maybe it was realizing that I've done this same thing for the past 10 years that made me so tired.  I know.  Cry me a river and call the waaaahmbulence.  How can I complain when I work outside the home only one day a week, have five great kids, and a husband that most sappy romance novelists have to make up in their minds?  I know so many women have it harder, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm just tired.

I've ran a few marathons in my day and have decided that motherhood is a lot like running a marathon.  A really, really long one.  It's not running that's the hard part, it's the fact that you have to do it for 26.2 miles that's hard.  Sometimes you feel like you're on mile one- energized and starry-eyed at the noble feat you're embarking on in raising tiny cavepeople into functioning members of society.  Oh, the places we'll go and the crafts we'll do along the way.

And sometimes you're stuck for days on mile 20- that sucky mile that makes you want to stop alongside the road and cry at the thought that you still have so far to go.

Yesterday I had to run some errands with my five kids, plus one of Camden's friends, and was complimented by an elderly gentleman on my cat herding skills.  Yup, that pretty much sums it up. "Been herding em' cats for over a decade now," I wanted to say.

This morning I was having one of those mile 20 days.  I was sorely tempted to crawl back into bed and let the little anarchists rule the roost.  But the refrigerator had been barren for days and for some crazy reason I can't feed leftover birthday cake to a family of seven for the next week.

So, I loaded up the circus and headed to the store.  As I drove on the freeway, I was far away with my mind in a fog.  The kids chattered at me from the backseat as I gave them the occassional absent-minded "mmm-hmm" and "yes, that would be silly if houses could fly."

When I got to the store, I continued on with my disconnectedness, walking the aisles, filling the grocery cart.  And then it happened.  I don't even remember what she said, but Calista said something that made me stop and laugh outloud.  That little nymph with wide eyes and a lisp were enough to bring even the most distracted mom out of oblivion and back to what was right in front of her.  I was finally seeing her for the first time that day.  Really seeing her.  And my gosh, that girl is adorable. How did I ever get so lucky?

Words I had read long ago from President Hinckley came to my mind, "The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired.  ... Forget yourself and get to work."

To forget myself...  That goes against every natural grain and inclination in me. My brother shared a clip on his blog that said, "Life breaks us all."  Normally we fight against or flee from whatever it is that's breaking us.  And motherhood has in a sense broken me.  But ironically, it hasn't broken me from something better into something worse.  It has broken me from someone who once thought I knew everything, into someone who realizes I have so much to learn- to become. Similar to a wild horse that needs broken to become usable to it's master, motherhood breaks me constantly.  And ironically, I like the "broken" me so much better.

To remember to turn into- not away from- the very thing that's breaking me.  That is the challenge to remember.  And when I do, mile 20 becomes one of accomplishment, rather than one of discouragment.  And the view becomes so much sweeter.

5 comments:

Shon Hawkes said...

Thanks for your thoughts Rita. As Elder Holland has said before, "God loves broken things".

Cher said...

umm, that picture is so beautiful. i love the lighting and that it's black and white.
also, good analogy with the marathon, although i have never run one, it makes sense!

Michele said...

Love the picture. Beautifully written and expressed. So true, but never easy.

AllisonK said...

Beautifully written as always! You have a lovely gift, thank you for sharing it and expressing my life when I can't and teaching me valuable lessons.

Luisa Hawkes said...

As always....your writings from the heart are just plain beautiful and heart warming. Please remember that "Somewhere out there beneath the pale blue light, someone is thinking of you and loving you tonight. Someone is saying a prayer and wishing under the same blue star. If love can see us through, it helps to think that we are sleeping underneath the same big blue sky. Somewhere out there, if love can see us, then we will be together where dreams come true."