Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Name



Caught somewhere between a single girl sipping lattes in Starbucks, and Michelle Duggar there's this girl (or at least she still thinks of herself as one)...she has 7 kids and counting and often looks for a moment to slip away and sip some coffee quietly by herself, but those coffee sipping moments alone are quickly replaced by noises that could be mistaken for a school playground at lunchtime, or a zoo at feeding time.

She used to be called by a name given to her by her parents, now she goes by a title given to her by God.
She doesn't miss the old name, it's strange to hear it now and the new name fits so much better. It's like her parents got it wrong and this was to be her name all along. It's becoming like a favourite sweater, comfortable, warm, warn in, and with room to grow. She even uses the name when referring to herself, though it sounds much sweeter coming from the little mouths covered in peanut butter and strawberry jam. There is no "I" anymore, only Mommy.

She finds it funny that she used to scoff at the name, and say with certainty that it would never be hers. She chuckles when her children share their "I'll never's" with her and waits with anticipation to see how they'll surprise themselves and her with the things they'll do.

She's a mother bear, ready to take on the world to protect her cubs or growling at them to get back into bed and protect her quiet time. Yes she really does growl sometimes, and she wonders if it's as ineffective when real bears do it to their cubs.

She has high hopes and high expectations of her day, but by the end considers it an achievement if she's made it through with only one cup of coffee and no crying (her, not the children). On the rare day the floors get washed she's absolutely giddy.

She's perplexed by the people who ask her how she does it all. She doesn't, she's just got a few more chances than most to get it wrong or get it right, depends on how you look at it.

She sees the other moms of many, and moms of only one and wonders how they do it, wonders if their sweet smiles and calm words are peaceful or Prozac, because she definitely doesn't feel peaceful most days. She remembers having only one or two, she was still referred to by that name her parents gave her sometimes. There was more time for coffee and quiet reflection, more time to focus on herself, but that didn't make being mommy any easier, it was just easier to pretend she wasn't one sometimes.

That name her parents gave her, the one that doesn't really feel the same anymore, it's like a skin that doesn't quite fit, and it's like she's slowly shedding it. Right now, caught in the middle, if she doesn't move she can hold on to it, but it's uncomfortable and doesn't leave as much room for growth. So she needs to move forward and wiggle out of her old ways and see what new beautiful things she can achieve without it holding her back.
The world tells her she's crazy. She needs "me" time and spa days, vacations and girls nights, and of course coffee alone.

She used to agree, but wonders if maybe they're wrong. She appreciates those silent moments now a lot more than she used to. Her spa days are a long shower and actually styling her hair for the first time in two weeks. Her "me" time is usually behind a bathroom door and lasts only a short moment before little hands start knocking. Her vacation is a trip to the grocery store with only a sleeping baby in tow, and her girls nights are a lap full of squirmy little children snuggled up to watch a movie. She used to miss her old life, now she can't quite remember why. The pull to it is fading as the little faces grow ever more bright, shining there love and laughter to each corner of the house (and her heart) as they skip merrily through.

She moves the toys aside, sits back, closes her eyes and sips her coffee. Noticing her breath, fully relaxed and at peace and knowing this is the life she was meant to live. Then, she once again hears that lovely name "Mommy..."


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