Monday, July 5, 2010

Children Make A House A Home


This weekend for the first time since my children were born, we spent four consecutive days apart. They went out of town to go to a wedding --and as they hopped in the car and waved goodbye I felt my chest tighten and I struggled against the urge to pull them out of the car. To be honest, they are perfectly safe and are with family; they just aren't with me, their mother.
A few of my friends made jokes about how quiet the house is.  You see, when Mayhem gets going, you can literally hear that boy across the street.  The boy was born with lungs for telling people about themselves. The house has been clean since the day they left, and there is nary a stray sock out of place.  Even the family un-dog Darren, who I thought would be relieved at their absence, has taken to checking their rooms every few minutes and meowing copiously while lying by the front door.

The children are what make my house a home, and without them it just feels empty and lonely. No one woke me up this morning asking, "mommy did I have breakfast last night, I'm hungry?" No one came to me to rat a sibling out, while complaining of a barely visible injury -- and most importantly, no little arms embraced me and said I love you.  Since my boys could talk, there has never been a day without an exchange of our love and there has never been a day without smiles and laughter.

I have always known that when it comes to my immediate family that I could not be more blessed.  I have an un-husband who adores me (though occasionally ruins supper) and two little boys that are loving and caring. My home is a sanctuary from the stresses of the outside world, and I am certain every person living here loves me.   This is no small thing, and yet I know that I have taken it all for granted, because the absence of my children for a few short days has made me so sad.

Sure, I can blog in the nude, pee undisturbed and make any spicy meal that I want, but none of that compares to the love of my child.  There was a time in my life that I was certain that I would never be a mother.  I feared that I did not have the strength of will and the patience to be good at it.  I am certain that I make plenty of mistakes, but now that I am a parent, I cannot imagine the empty shell that my life would have been had they not been born.  This is not to say that motherhood is the right choice for everyone; it is just the right choice for me.

Today I baked a mac n cheese which is their favorite, and a banana bread so that it would be ready for their arrival.   I want to look at their faces while they eat.  I want to return to communing as a family and sharing the joys and sorrows of our day.  I want to hold their little hands and kiss their sweet faces.  I want them to once again know the comfort that is a mothers love- my love.

I have written time and time again about motherhood being the other side of the abortion debate, not because I am against a woman's right to choose, but because my choice was to mother -- and I know it was unequivocally the best thing that ever happened to me.  I may long for the day when I never have to wipe another bum, or complain that the toilet seat was left up again, but secretly I know that when they have grown and left me to start their own lives, I will look back at this time and remember nothing but love, because that is what this family is - love. 

Some would say that I am too serious to be a mommy blogger, or even that my posts about my children are long and meandering, but they come from a place that is closest to my heart.  Loving my children and celebrating my family will not undo a systemic wrong, it will not get that pit bull of a sweater vest out of office any faster, nor will it leave a legacy that will have my name sung with praise long after I am gone -- but in the here and now -- in a world filled with so much pain, violence and rage, it brings me peace and it brings me joy.  Happiness is no small thing, and we should never take it for granted-- because it is as fleeting a snowflake melting against your cheek.