The job of mothering is done by more than mothers alone. This year, I’ve learned that motherhood is but one aspect of womanhood.
This weekend, I’ve had my fair share of Mother’s Day greetings, and I’ve exchanged the greeting with any woman who appeared old enough to be a mother without stopping to think about whether these women were mothers or not. I never even thought to ask! (Shame on me!)
My life is active and full as a wife, stay-at-home mother of three precocious, active children, cook, laundress (or washerwoman, as they used to say back in the day), chauffeur, homework helper, literary champion, nutritionist, lullaby master, wardrobe composer, and part-time fitness instructor. These are just a few of the hats that I normally get to wear.
So when I went in for surgery this past Monday, I was reminded that I would have to depend on others to fill in where I cannot. This sometimes makes me feel limited and inadequate, especially as I recuperate at home, albeit slowly, at least according to my standards. Believe it or not, my mind is even more active than my body, as I am always thinking of what’s “next” on the agenda. Who needs what? What needs to be done now? Balancing the needs of the day while being prepared for what’s up ahead is something that I’m used to doing. Hence, the realization that I don’t have the luxury of doing things “my way” during this time is alarming. Nonetheless, I must keep in mind that I am not sick. Rather, I am being restored; healing; being made well. Through these lenses, I am thankful for the mental reprieve, as well as the physical rest that is necessary for this restoration. I am Grateful!
Did I expect 5K readiness straight out the gate? Of course not, but I certainly was not ready to admit that I could not carry on with “business as usual”, or to hear about the levels of healing required for “complete” wellness. On a deeper level, however, I knew that I had to trust, that in order to be fully well, I had to also give up something, even if only for part of the time. Moreover, I needed to take comfort in knowing that, I am at least in a position to get the help that I need, from Angels near and far. These friends and neighbors, surprisingly, have become a new type of family that extends beyond bloodline. They help me in a multitude of ways, especially with our children, and I fully recognize that, that in itself is a privilege. I am more than grateful…I am GreatFull!
Apparently, the road to restoration is a humbling one. Paved with personal, life-altering encounters; adorned with admissions of vulnerability and limitations; bespeckled with blessings from a newly defined community of family, neighbors, and my sistah/gal network; and decorated with dollops of delight (sweet kisses on the brow and hugs from my sweethearts, though “only on the legs” for fear of “not squeezing Mommy too hard”); it is definitely a scenic route, one well worth the journey. Despite its power to slow me down, I am pleasantly amazed by some familiar stops along the way. The sun still rises to greet me in the morning, and I am still able to usher in its light. I still get to witness the shifting winds, though I don’t get to walk in them, and I still get to marvel at the displays of new life as Spring magically sprinkles its colors in spaces that before seemed to lack life or vibrancy. I am GreatFull…Still.