This week, I went to the store by myself. I really did. I am sure you must think me pathetic for not making the time in my week, or month, or life to make this happen. I don’t expect you to understand. Honestly, I don’t.
I just wanted to tell you.
I also know there are people out there who get this.
I didn’t realize I was alone until I opened my car door, all ready with the “buddy-system,’ protocol and the reminders to stay close to me as we walk through the parking lot.
I stopped suddenly and it hit me. I am alone.
I must have looked quite silly as I stood right there in the middle of the parking lot, smiling and breathing in the largest breath of fresh air I could get.
I am sure I did. But if I had witnessed another woman in this same situation, I would have known exactly what she was thinking and feeling.
Taking a few steps, I noticed my shadow in front of me. Which meant that the sun was at my back. Slowly, I turned around and met the heat on my face and let God shine His glory all around me.
My friends laugh when I tell them about my time out alone. How I walk slowly through the aisles with nothing really to buy, or sit in the bookstore and just stare at the pages of a book. When someone speaks to me I am almost afraid that I will end up hugging them, hearing their stories and going home with them to hold their babies and help them make a meal.
I cannot get away from who I am. I have tried to ignore the sun as if it was just another part of the day. I cannot. It is one of my favorite things.
I have tried to close my eyes in the bookstore as I hear sadness over coffee or see another person in the Christian living or self help aisle. I just want to be there. With them. And I do. And I will never stop seeing the needs. It is who I am. Even on my hours off.
The slow purposeful movements and the hearing of laughter from other children in the store fill my senses. And I wish to die seeing and hearing joy with all of my senses.
On the days I wish to tell someone that they are more than motherhood; That their lives are not defined by how they mother or their desires to have some time off… I realize that I cannot say that with all of my heart.
I take deep moments in the sunshine. Because I cannot always afford to stop and wait for the sun to come out and sit in the sky waiting for me.
I hear the cries of the hurting, because God has made my heart tender, as a care-giver of many souls, hearts and bodies.
I see the needs of the women that are doing this alone, because I have been there and I know the struggle.
And I can taste and see that the Lord is good, because He has brought me through deep waters, and I would have never seen the glory of the pain if I had not been a mother.
So, on the days when I really, truly just plain do not want to talk about motherhood; those days that I live on repeat, I realize that I cannot shed the skin that God has given me. It is my covering, and has taken root deep within me.
I may be silent here some days, when I am painting toe nails, holding my toddler while she throws up all day, wrapping a boys arm cast in plastic bags for his showers, buying more toilet paper, piano lessons, cooking bacon and eggs, cleaning out my van, schooling the children, re-brushing little teeth, fetching more drinks at bedtime, listening to the dreams of my children, writing friendly letters with good penmanship, making a fort with blankets, reciting Latin songs, practicing flash cards, teaching the teens to drive, wiping tears and you know what else, and living to see the next sunrise… is right where you will find me.
I may be silent. But I am living the dream. And I will want to talk about it even more when I wake up.
Some day. Just not every day.