Monday, April 4, 2016

The ordinary

I get up in the morning and change a diaper. Get breakfast to a chorus of, "what's taking so long? I'm hungry." I put tiny socks on tiny feet, unlock the coop and feed the chickens, start a load of laundry. I wash the dishes, dig into a reading exercise with the little ones, hang out the laundry and collect some eggs. I fix lunch and do some yard work, sew on a few missing buttons, think about what to make for dinner, bathe the baby, stop a huge sibling squabble, wash some more dishes, mop the floor, shoo a cat from under the kitchen table. I throw something simple on the stove and watch a magnificent sunset while it's cooking. I let myself exhale, tired after another full and busy day and more than ready to see the little people off to bed. 

I don't run a home business. I'm not on any committees or local councils, I don't do any regular volunteering. My home is far from spotless and I don't do any fancy cooking and baking. I love to crochet, draw and make candles, but do it all very sporadically and, in general, keep things simple. I'm lucky if I can snatch an hour to write after the kids are asleep. I don't own a car, so our outings (beyond walking distance) are rare and family-oriented. I'm notoriously bad about returning emails and phone calls. 

I don't have time, energy or inclination for the complicated. The simple and straightforward more than keeps my hands full. 

What about the natural human desire to stand out, to do something special? When we are young, we all think we'll do just that. Because we are unique, and nobody quite like us has ever existed before in the entire history of the universe. So am I doing something special? The prosaic answer is, not really. I cook, clean, wash clothes, wipe bottoms and spend a lot of time saying, "don't do that" and "give that back to your sister".

It's not the things that make it all special, but the people; and they are special because G-d had given them to me, and not to anybody else. It's not the swept floor and the clean sheets, but the wondrous eyes of the child watching a column of ants, it's conversation over dinner, discussion of an interesting story. It's a walk among yellow spring blossoms, the retelling of a dream, it's looking at a bird soaring in the sky. It's all the moments in between, and the giving of oneself, in the little things - in the everyday things, which ultimately add up to something beautiful, something that means more than we could have imagined, because it's life itself. 

4 comments:

Jenn said...

beautiful... and so true...

Rosemary UK said...

I am not jewish but my life was just like yours when the children were growing up.Now I amm going to be seventy next birthday and my grandchildren are nearly grown up.It is the best life and enjoy it.

Anna Mariam said...

Lovely post. I feel very much the same way about my ordinary life :)

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. Found your blog through legacy of home. I just love this post;)
Mrs. O