A paragraph I read in a Dobson book once and copied to my computer:
“Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy . . . Never assume for a moment that you can ‘do your own thing’ without serious consequences for him . . . .this task must be your highest priority for a period of time. It will not always be required of you. Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps into the adult world. Then it will be your turn. By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do. But for now, there is a higher calling. …. Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility.”
It may not come as a big surprise to you: I like to write. Even when I don’t feel like blogging – after tying up a couple of my thoughts all neatly onto the screen next to a picture, I feel happier. As if I had actually neatly tied my day. Because of so many moments like that, I began to wish writing could be my only job. So I started a blog, I wrote an article, I started shopping around my book – all the usual things to try and break into the bizz. One of these usuals – writing conferences. Mom and Felic and I went to one last weekend. I looked forward to it for weeks, so happy to leave town, escape my living room around which little boys swarm and yell, and be surrounded only by the writing muse and instruction about it. Then, unbelievably, the first night, the first meeting, we shared our building with . . . a boyscout troup. The speaker was very smart and educated and insipring, but all I could hear were little boys swarming and yelling. Mom thought perhaps they were earning their roller blading badge up and down the hallways. But I knew better. I firmly believed they were marching up and down the hallways quoting this paragraph.
Fortunately, I don’t actually take myself that seriously any more. I totally believe that paragraph, but there is no way in heck God was scolding me through a boy scout troup.
On the other hand, when another speaker talked about our calling and how we need to focus and “follow our star”, I knew for absolute certainty that writing is only a teeny tiny part of that for me. And for right now at least, boys are a huge part of it. I felt proud that I get that, and more importantly, that I love it.
Felicity took Macy with her. This is a picture I took of her as she and Felic sat across from me at a restaurant one evening. She was sucking her thumb, we think, for the first time. That moment sitting in a booth with my sister, my mom and my niece – it was totally and comlpetely satisfying for me. I really love those moments – the really small ones that go by so indescribably we normally wouldn’t even call them a moment. Those are the moments when we really find out who we are and if our priorities make sense. Not so much just that they happen, but whether or not they make us happy.