Monday, May 2, 2011
**Teething is hard work.**
I remember once being told that I would have to work long and hard in the pursuit of my goals.
And tonight, when I sit here in front of my computer, letting my mind wander over a day that has been a day, I think:
Yep, long and hard.
But you know what? That's not a complaint. It's a satisfied exhalation.
**Sometimes a mother's work is putting on a wedding party.**
My Poppa (mom's dad) is a great philosopher. Growing up, he was always stretching our minds with thought-provoking questions. One time he asked a bunch of us cousins what we were afraid of. He was most impressed, appropriately so, with my cousin Lindsay's answer.
She said that she was afraid of going to bed at night and realizing that she hadn't accomplished anything with her day. Given that she was about 13 at the time, it was a pretty sophisticated reply.
I've thought a lot about that reply, and I've realized that working hard grants me immunity to that feeling. Working hard makes me feel spent, yes, but also full in the best kind of way. Whether it's a day at the office, or a day (night?) of taking care of Tiny and Drummer, a day of work gives me a sense of progressing.
I've read all the recent studies about how adults without children are supposedly more happy than those who slave away changing diapers and driving to soccer practices. They postulate that without all the responsibilities of childrearing, there is more time for relaxation and self-care. Well, sure. And I can certainly testify that kids do bring about a steady stream of work. But without pointing out the numerous flaws in such studies (a post for another day!), and without pointing out the incredibly joys of parenting that are hard to quantify, I just have to say this:
The more effort I put into worthy causes, the more joy I seem to reap. We all need regular breaks and relaxation. Of course.
But in general, I am willing to put in more labor for better fruits.
I am willing to work hard taking care of my precious kids and my patients, if I can have the sweetness that comes when I sit down on the couch at the end of the day, and savor a well-earned rest. I am willing to push through fatigue and inertia to find a better, more selfless, more experienced version of myself.
When I work hard, I feel like I am laying the groundwork for great things, whatever they may be.
When I work hard--emotionally or physically--I can lay my head down on my pillow, and know that though while my efforts were surely imperfect, efforts they were. And many times, I think that's exactly what matters.
**Our royal wedding party cake**