I admit it. The stress of starting a new part time job was showing. My mothering skills were on autopilot as I adjusted to having a less-flexible schedule. However, I thought everything fine. We still had the laundry in the living room, but it was sorted. We still had dinner, if an hour later than we used to, and homework and bedtimes remained under tolerable control. The external signs of competency still held.
After the Eucharist on Sunday, I caught my husband just looking at me. I knew in an instant he was praying for me. It felt too intimate, and I looked away. My brain rattled off the things we’d need to finish that Sunday. We needed to clean up from the party, we needed to fix the main-floor bathroom toilet, I should get my hair done, two needed new pants, one might need new shoes, I needed to transcribe a meeting and send two emails. Just keep going. Everything is fine. Just keep at it and everything would be fine.
My eleven-year-old got up early on Monday. At breakfast, she offered grace and added a special intention for Mom who works so hard for all of us. In the midst of making eight lunches, I got pierced by prayer again. She’d decided to pray for me. I thanked her, but felt off my game, like I was missing something afterwards. Gathering my thoughts and my things, my youngest came up and hugged me and said, “You are the best mom. I love you so much and I know you miss me when I go off to school.” And there was the piercing again.
I hadn’t asked for any of this, but here it was, unbidden love. Unbidden love which forced me on all three occasions to stop. I’d been galloping through the week, stressing as is my seemingly perpetual habit, over the little stuff of the every day, laundry, paperwork, errands, schedules, homework, all of it. Each of these moments were reminders, it is not what we do that earns us love, it is who we are. We are loved because we are loved. We are to act in all things in an attempt to return God’s investment of love, with our own gift of self.
I made a mental note to be that experience of being pierced by God’s love for my children and my husband, and the relentlessness of the week fell away.
This week’s small successes?
1) Planned a party for Friday for my 12-year-old son and his friends.
2) Date night with my husband.
3) Went to my son’s track meet to see him run.
4) Restarted writing.
5) Restarted reading to my younger kids. (We’d fallen out of the habit as I struggled with the new schedule. This was my deliberate attempt to stop galloping through the week).
Now it’s your turn, to stop, to pull back and recognize all the small successes of the week.
Copyright 2016 Sherry Antonetti