Papers and Plaques vs. Diapers and Dishrags

My husband got a plaque yesterday. After receiving it, he sat down next to the the kids and I. I jokingly mouthed the words, “Another one for the wall!” He smiled and mouthed back, “My shrine.”
There’s a wall in our house, above our computer desk, and it is fairly slathered in plaques with my husband’s name on them.
My husband HATES that wall, but I’m proud of him, so I don’t care. He once teased that the only thing missing from the wall was a gigantic portrait of him in the middle. Well, don’t tempt me.

My husband has this great talent to be REALLY good at whatever he does. He has a plaque from his full-time mission, a plaque from graduating at the top of his college class, and various work plaques. He’s amazing at his job -I mean, he is really amazing. He loves it, so that helps.

After looking at The Wall one day, he sadly remarked, “We need a wall for you.”
“What for?” I laughed, “Are you going to tack dirty diapers to it?”

Before I go on, I need to say that I GET the importance of my job. I love my job. I don’t want to NOT do my job.

Sometimes I get to feeling like I’m really, for lack of a better word, lame. Every stay-at-home mother has felt this way at one time or another -probably at many times. When I attend luncheons and conferences where my husband is given plaques, I feel so boring next to all of the polished career women.
I listen to women talk about the difference they’re making teaching homeless young adults -helping them get their GEDs at the YMCA. I hear about the amazing people I graduated with -we’re technically old enough to be getting MASTER’S degrees! Isn’t that amazing?! And I’m so proud of all of them -their jobs, their degrees, the difference they are all making.
Their accomplishments don’t make me love them less at all -I don’t even envy them. I’m just straight up, 100% amazed. And completely proud.
Then I look down at my growing belly and wonder if I’ve let my personality go. I wonder if I should be doing more. I WANT to be doing more.
I realize in the big scheme of things I AM doing more. I really am. But in the day-to-day monotony, I feel like I’m not. I feel like I’m doing the same things over and over and over and over and no one really notices or cares.
Because if they DID, they’d stop eating on the dishes so I wouldn’t have to wash the again. Really -it’s the only logical thing they would do, you know, if they cared.
They’d also start dressing in disposable clothing.
In any case, I feel an itch to DO something… accomplish something that STAYS accomplished.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t mind having A Wall… just something that says, “Look what you’ve done. You’re great at what you do. Your life really matters.” Everyone needs that fat pat on the back now and again.
I mentioned this to my husband the other day -I tread carefully. I didn’t want him to feel for one little second like I didn’t appreciate everything HE does so I can stay home. I explained to him that I knew that my job really matters, but I can’t help but feel, well, fat and boring.
“What really matters is that you’re learning as you go,” he said, which isn’t exactly what I expected him to say. Then he said something else that I didn’t expect him to say, “You’re doing the kind of learning that matters right now. You’re learning skills that will make a difference when the time comes. When things get bad, you’re going to be all right.”
I have to admit: I never thought about that before.
Also: when things get bad, I WILL NOT be all right, but I get what he’s saying. He’s right. I guess I’ve always felt like mothering STUNTED my scholastic learning, but in all actuality it’s been more of an accelerated learning experience than anything. I won’t bother you by listing everything, because it would take and I know I’d miss a million things. Literally: a million. The things I’ve learned by staying home have ranged in topic from economics to nursing to spiritual growth to psychology to physical education… and BEYOND!
Does Movie Quoting count? Kid Movie Quoting?
Anyway, I went to a kid movie last night with my daughter. We went to see, “Mirror, Mirror” and while she sat next to my in our one-screen Roxy Theater, my heart was absolutely overcome. She was wearing a froofy princess dress, clutching her popcorn and Root Beer and asking questions VERY loudly.
“Why does the Queen want to kill her?”
“Why are their legs so big and silly?”
“Why are those guys just so short?”

And eventually, despite the fact that I needed a bathroom for 45 minutes, I scooped her up and plopped her on my lap.
“Mom, I can sit in my own chair,” she said.
“I know, but you’re still small enough to fit on my lap and pretty soon you’ll be much too big. So can I have you on my lap, just for tonight?”
“Sure,” she nodded. She’s really very charitable.

And here’s the thing: if I haven’t offended you by now I might just cross that line in a second…
I feel so bad for other parents. Seriously. I mean, I have the BEST kids. I wish everyone could have a Lacy in their home. She’s the coolest, cutest, smartest, more fun, most caring, sweestest little morsel of a girl that ever walked the planet.
And she’s ALL mine. I feel like I’m hogging all of the awesomeness in parenting because my kids are the best.
My son? He’s a CLOWN. And he’s so loving it would melt your heart to pure liquid. And I’m the only mom who gets him.
I’m sure all parents have felt this way as well… I’m sure all parents look at their kids from time to time and think, ‘Man, mine are the best. Poor other parents.’
And such is the ride of mothering.
We go from feeling boring, fat, monotonous, and unimportant to a parenting high of utter, absolute, swelling and overwhelming PRIDE… all in the course of one silly day.

And so I don’t have A Wall. I don’t have plaques. I don’t have any real recognition of what I’ve done… but I have something better and higher than that. I have two perfect children and something perfect brewing as we speak.
They’ve been the ultimate challenge -the ultimate joy -sometimes they’ve been my source of ultimate sacrifice, and just as the words of the song tell us…
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.

My plaques don’t go on A Wall… they go on horse rides.

Speak Your Mind