So we have established over and over again that motherhood is this gloriously painful process of stripping away all sense of pride and ego to reveal a humbling core of who you truly are... good AND bad! Well, Melina (my darling teenage daughter) is of no exception to this process for me.
We were in the kitchen and she was working on some homework and I am not sure how we even came upon the topic of my character but alas, we did. She laughed and said "mom, you are so cheesy some times!" A line, I have heard from her on far too many occasions at which I reply "well, that works well for pizzas and lasagnas and spinach artichoke dips, etc..." But this time, I asked her "oh yeah, how so?" Big mistake...
She picks up her pencil, mockingly looks longingly at it, and begins the following monologue:
"Just look at this pencil! It is positively fascinating to think that this tiny wooden pencil came from a majestic tree that likely made thousands more of these pencils that other people are now holding in their hands as we speak! And this little pencil helps to convey the very thoughts and ideas from INSIDE of us and brings them OUT where the world can partake of it!" Cue the mock tears (which I thought was a little over the top) "It's just AMAZING."
Alright, alright, that's quite enough o-daughter-of-mine who will no longer be getting her allowance this week! Which is precisely what I managed to say to her through my bursts of laughter. Well, hey, you've got to admit... that was a pretty accurate impersonation of me, whether I like to admit it or not!
But then that gets my thoughts going. Am I seriously that melodramatic and yes, cheesy? Please, dear God, tell me I am not that over the top with gratitude! At which point I start laughing even harder at the recollection of a Friends episode in which Phoebe dates Alec Baldwin who is an obnoxiously positive person "Look at this door! Isn't it the most beautiful door you have ever seen? And it is the entry way into our perfectly amazing date we're about to have!"
But to be honest with you, I think that I would rather deal with the tooth decay and sweet after taste of that "spoon full of sugar" than the bitterness that remains when we choose to dwell on things we don't have or the counterbalance of the beauty that truly IS all around us. That very balance is a thing of beauty... that you cannot have evil without good... that you cannot have darkness without light... that you cannot have the joys of holding a child in your arms without enduring nine months of pregnancy aches and pains and oh those glorious hours of labour...
That very balance is a gift (much like that blasted pencil) in that the opportunity remains every single time we dredge through our hardships to pull through feeling stronger than we thought we were, wiser than we hoped to be, and more grateful for the things that DO go well. The gift of the positive outcome stems from the very hardship itself! That is what I mean about BALANCE being a thing of beauty. It is majestic, humbling and never takes without giving more in return IF you CHOOSE to see it that way.
Because afterall, who on earth is going to CHOOSE to delve into the hardships we face in our lives? I certainly would not have thought to myself "hey, I think I would like to have a severely disabled daughter when I am nineteen..." or "hey, I would love to experience the deterioration of a marriage for the sake of my betterment." Not going to happen because had I been shown what those pains would entail, there is no way I would I have believed I was strong enough.
But I guess that is where life is like that parent who makes us get back up on that two-wheeler we just fell off of for the fourteenth time! We resist it because we know we're just going to fall off and get hurt again but that parent KNOWS the freedom that is coming if we just persevere a little longer. We can't know it because we haven't experienced it yet and we think our parents must not like us very much that they keep putting us up on this imposing contraption of mass destruction! Until we actually get it... and that feeling of accomplishment is there... the mastery of a skill and the false hope that you had finally fallen for the last time! But that freedom... ah that glorious freedom you didn't even know.
Thank goodness life pushes us into the very hardships we would have otherwise avoided at all cost!
So here's hoping you are embracing whatever life is throwing your way as far as stripping away the very person you thought you were to reveal the person you truly are... that you delight in the core of who you truly are (or do something about it if you don't)... and that you give others the opportunity to love your for ALL that you are (good AND bad)!
In the meantime, I will be embracing motherhood's humility with as little kicking and screaming as possible!
Much love to all of you out there! I love knowing that you were each someone's child and that you likely brought humility to your caregivers whether they liked it or not. I pray that your caregivers embraced in their own way the opportunity to see who they truly were in order to make the changes needed for growth. And if they didn't? Well, I like that you challenged them innocently anyways! God bless you all!!!