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photography: kimkim klassen café |

How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.
G.K. Chesterton

Mothering is the most draining, fulfilling, mundane, exhilirating role I’ve ever undertaken. Some days the thought of getting out of bed to do the same thing all over, wearies me, body and soul. Another day of whining, laundry, and reading the same silly books over and over agin. Not to mention, navigating the hodpodge of Legos and farm animals littering the path at every turn. If I’m not careful, self-pity can slip in and take a seat in a dark corner of my mind, almost without notice.

But then it happens – the spark in her eye that tells me she really “gets it”, perhaps for the first time. The way her eyes dance and her tiny feet take flight when she hears her Daddy’s joyful greeting at day’s end. Her unwavering faith in the healing power of my kiss. Her pudgy hands on my face. Her loyal declarations of undying affection. And suddenly, I can’t remember how many tantrums I’ve endured or how many loads of laundry I’ve folded. I remember that this is no small thing I am doing here, all day, every day, with this very small person. I remember she will not be small for very long.

†G.K. Chesterton, “The Emancipation of Domesticity”, What’s Wrong with the World (1910)

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/04/2010 2:18 pm

    I remember that last line often and especially when I start to feel overwhelmed. In the midst of what is overwhelming today will be that which is cherished and even missed down the road. Being really present allows you to take it with you…at least that has worked for me.

  2. 02/04/2010 2:44 pm

    I have GOT to get my hands on this Chesterton person… Lovely, as always. Maybe even more than always.

  3. 02/04/2010 8:15 pm

    Beautifully said! I can relate in so many ways!

  4. 02/04/2010 9:22 pm

    i’m on the other side of motherhood and i remember the weariness to this day…but to see the lovely young women I have…worth it ALL!!

  5. 02/04/2010 11:26 pm

    Just beautiful. So well put.

  6. 02/05/2010 12:48 am

    I’m sorry I am mezmerized by that delish image…so well captured.
    and the words…sniff.
    So true.
    They are only little for a little while.

  7. 6512 and growing permalink
    02/05/2010 4:20 am

    Motherhood is the eternal yin/yang. And that sandwich? Daily fare.

  8. 02/05/2010 4:54 am

    gina so well put… so lovely…

    xxo, kim

  9. 02/05/2010 4:37 pm

    Oh, I love this and it is exactly what I needed to hear today…and maybe every day!

  10. 02/06/2010 1:01 pm

    Such good words!

    I love that quote…

  11. Sarah permalink
    02/10/2010 6:08 pm

    Love this–thank you!

  12. Kim permalink
    02/11/2010 4:25 pm

    Thank you for this post. This says it all and reminds me of how blessed I am. Sometimes we all need a little reminding in our lives.

  13. 02/11/2010 9:46 pm

    that quote just floored me. i still feel shaken to the core.
    thank you.

  14. 02/17/2010 8:58 pm

    oh so there…I needed this today. Thank you.

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