Tuesday, January 24, 2012
(photo by Paula Hammon)
I've been simmering (no pun intended) on my domestic freak out yesterday. It turned out great, food wise, but I realized that when all the dishes were put away, I didn't necessarily feel better. I woke up feeling pretty down, honestly, and it drove me to accomplish something I didn't think I could. And I did accomplish it, and I had fun doing it, so problem, solved, right?
I realized something, I did it for Sydney, even though she didn't eat a bite of it. I loved rushing home with her from school, because I had pies in the oven. I loved seeing her eyes light up; frankly I love seeing her eyes light up and maybe I'll do almost anything to inspire them.
I have an amazing mother, she accomplished things I don't think I ever could, the least of which is supporting two well fed, well traveled, well educated children- and working unbelievably hard so we could be all those things. And she did this on her own. Even when my parents were married my father was emotionally absent, and eventually also financially absent- both those qualities define him still. She shouldered an unbelievable burden and she did it with grace. And we emerged pretty well balanced, and gratefully, thanks to her, we even made it out of college debt-free.
But she didn't make pies, or cookies, or big steaming casserole dishes. She didn't make soups from scratch or meatloaf. She didn't have time. And frankly, she probably didn't have interest. There were bigger fish to fry; making sure we were provided for, and we were.
When I pick up Sydney from school I try to pause, and remember, what a profound luxury this is. That at that very moment she comes bounding out of her classroom, full of stories to tell me about her day, I can be there. I can take her to the playground every single day if we want to and can help her traverse the microcosm of the world that it is, complete with hurt feelings and scraped knees.
I have an amazing husband. And that I have the great privilege to pick up my daughter from school, and struggle through homework with her myself, is due in no small part to his commitment to provide for us. That he isn't playing drums in a band in Europe, or Chicago, or where ever, is a choice he made for his life. To be here with us, to make a family here, together. And for that I am so grateful.
So I made him an apple pie, because it's his favorite. But making pie and roasting a chicken didn't make me a better mother, or wife. What it did was help me to show, in a small way, how grateful I am for the profound gifts I have. I have a husband who is present, and a willing and active participant in his family. He relishes being a father, he enjoys it and he's good at it. How did I get so lucky?
My sense of responsibility - not only to my family, but to the world we live in and the people in my life, I got from my mother. The belief I hold- that I could be or do anything- I got from her- I saw in her. These are two things I pray I will pass on to my daughter. But for myself, at this stage of my life, I am hoping to learn live into all these blessings with more appreciation that I have. And maybe to be a little kinder to myself, as I'm learning.
Next up, (leftovers) chicken soup and cornbread. Let you know how it goes:p
Posted by Cameron Dezen Hammon at 8:40 AM