"What is down in the well comes up in the bucket."
I think this is an old adage, but I heard it for the first time last week. It has hit me hard. What's down in my well is a baby. A tiny person that demands a lot from me and has turned me into someone I barely recognize. I am tired. I am not as funny. I eat copious amounts of weird things like cottage cheese and apples and peanut butter. And okay, chocolate. In all honesty, I am short tempered and selfish. I know I need more of the Word to fill my well.
Usually mothers who have lots of children seem so together to me. They either have perfect children or the perfect amount of relaxed attitude about everything or a stellar combination of the two. I always wanted a big family. But now I just worry that I can't do it all, I can't mother it all, and that I can't raise them all before I go crazy. This is what happens when a perfectionist introvert is suddenly surrounded with lots of imperfect people. (Myself included, of course.)
Currently as I write my 9 year old is reading to her two younger siblings. Not a short picture book, but one with chapters and a plot. It is precious and wonderful but a little sad for me. I want to read to them, but I just don't feel like it these days. I am unable to do my job. Someone has had to step up. Yet I sowed the seeds of reading aloud so I should be proud to pass it on.
I want to reach deep into my well and pull out endless energy and smiles and super mom abilities like reading out loud without falling asleep and cooking amazing meals 7 nights a week and organizing neighborhood soccer games. But my water seems a little muddied by laundry and dirty toilets and (gasp!) home school. If only I could achieve what I know is the key: that those mundane things would be the very tasks that make my motherhood shine. Sometimes I glimpse it. I will keep working at it.
Today is Cash's birthday. He is 8. This seems utterly impossible. 8 years ago at this time I was in terrible labor with him. It was not an easy one. A nurse delivered Cash. She asked me to wait for the doctor but I said no. I pleaded with her to let me push him out. Shortly after he was born I remember saying (well, groan/yelling), "I don't want to do that again for a really long time!" I was back in 18 months having Penelope.
They needed me in the womb, and they need me now. Un-ignorable. Persistent. And irresistible. I am devoted to my children, my family. It makes me better.
I have been thinking about what's in my well and what I dump down there and what comes up. And I've realized something. These kids. They're down there. Because they sure keep coming up.