Sitting in in the cool morning air of a quiet Pacific Northwest morning, I hear a light tapping on the inside sliding glass door and turn to see our 6-month old granddaughter peering out to say good morning. That is to say, I think it’s my sleepy, blurry-eyed daughter tapping on the door hoping grandma is up for a morning snuggle session so mommy can go back for a brief morning nap.
Well, DUH. Pass the kid this way, puh-LEZE.
My daughter’s typical comment is, “Mom, I’m sorry to interrupt your quiet morning moment, but…”
Or then there are the times in the car, “Mom, I’m sorry for all the crying and screaming…”
Or, “Mom, sorry if you have to clean out the car seat, (or your jeans, or your shirt…etc.)”
She just doesn’t get it. I mean, I’m glad she’s being sensitive and all that. But she doesn’t—because she can’t—understand grandparenting anymore than she could have understood parenting a year ago. She also says the most gratifying things every mother like to hear, such as:
“How did you do it with multiple children?!?” and, every parents’ favorite,
“I’m sorry for all the @#!!#! I put you through!”
Ah, sweet revenge perspective.
Speaking of perspective, one conversation I found quite noteworthy on this family vacation was one with our eldest, the mother of our three-year-old granddaughter. (I will generously call it a “conversation”, since such a term doesn’t actually exist when you have a three-year-old in the house.)
It had to do with the hard-core feminist idea, evidently still prevalent in some circles, that being a stay-at-home mother was somehow below a woman’s full potential of mental/emotional actualization, blah, blah, blah, and how uninformed, if not somewhat offensive, that out-dated notion was.
I was hearing the same tom-foolery back in the 80’s when I was raising my kids. Perhaps that idea should be included in the bucket of “those who can’t do, teach”?
In all fairness, I imagine such an earlier pendulum swing had more to do with a societal backlash against forcing women into the roll more than anything else. I get that. But the effect of telling women that they are wasting their time as the traditional keepers of home and hearth has also had a destructive element.
I tried to embrace both, traditional motherhood, (June Cleaver, only without the pearls), and work, (albeit not by choice, but by economic necessity). Thankfully, I felt no cultural feminist pull to the professional world of “mental/emotional actualization” of my identity or potential.
It became, instead, my own version of frustrating insanity.
As a side note, I started this short treatise with the intent of highlighting the love of the Father, in that no matter how inconvenient my circumstances may seem to me at the time, I am always welcomed into His arms. Of course, I don’t have to wait until I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, or “frustratingly insane” trying to keep up with standards, whether cultural or self-imposed.
Unfortunately, even the church has a long-standing history of causing the same effects. (Ask me how I know this…)
So I find these words of Jesus not only comforting, but equally challenging and intriguing:
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Now, He didn’t say it was easy; He said it was light. As in, comparison to any other burden life has to offer, traditional or otherwise. And let’s face it, if you’re breathing, you’re carrying some sort of burden. The unfortunate part is that most of us don’t bother to accept the yoke L-O-N-G enough to get the fit just right; that is, we try to fit the yoke to us, rather that us fitting to the yoke.
Which is a life-long commitment, kinda like parenting.
Perhaps, someday in the far future, my daughters will have the joy of being a grandparent. Until then, they have their hands and hearts full.
Matthew 11:29,30 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.