Another inspiring guest post by Christy Fitzwater
We were enjoying lunch, until my son cried out, “I need water! I just got a mouth full of something salty!” I paused to explain to my soon-to-be-married daughter that she should always make sure the bouillon cube has dissolved completely into the chili.
After we stopped laughing, my husband said, “You owe him.”
“Owe him what?” I said.
“A slushy!” he said. “And me? And me a slushy, too?”
“And me?” my daughter said.
I conceded and said I would run to the gas station to buy slushies for all. (Really, this makes for a very popular mother. Bouillon cube forgotten.)
“Can you carry all those?” my husband asked.
“Yes, I’m a mom” I answered.
He wondered what being a mom had to do with it.
“You know –when you’re a young mom you learn how to carry in one hand a heavy car seat filled with a baby, with purse and diaper bag in the other hand –and then your husband asks if you can carry his Bible, too.”
“Hey!” He said.
“Then you have a second child, and you carry in one hand a heavy car seat filled with a baby, and in the other hand you carry a heavier diaper bag that includes sippy cup, snacks, and toys for the toddler. Add to that the toddler running up to say, ‘Mom, can you hold my Sunday School craft?’ You absentmindedly take the craft from the child, tucking it under an elbow.
“Honey,” I continued, “That’s when a mom learns how to close things with her back side or with one foot kicked out awkwardly from behind the car seat. She learns how to open doors with an elbow and carry just one more thing under the chin or in her teeth.”
“Wow” he said. More in awe at my impromptu speech than with the information.
So off I went to the gas station, where I purchased and carried three large (cold!) slushies in hand, using my back side to open the gas station door and one pinky finger to open the car door.
But all of this made me think –moms carry things.
We carry the night watch with infants and the fierce hatred of 2-year-olds who have been denied another bag of fruit snacks before dinner.
We carry smelly soccer equipment and socks that have dried and hardened wrong side out.
We carry plates of hot chocolate chip cookies to a distraught middle school girl and carry the worry that our teenage boy’s future wife will hate us if we don’t somehow convince him to put the towel on the hook.
We carry a lot, and the question it raises is, “With what attitude do we carry the responsibilities of motherhood?”
There have been times I’ve grabbed my responsibilities with scathing resentment, muttering wicked things about my family under my breath. “Why can’t they just…”
But over the years, God has worked in my heart to help me say, with sincerity, “How may I help you with that?” or “I would love to carry that for you.”
Maybe getting closer to the empty nest years has helped, as I foresee the days when those kids aren’t in my house, and they’re carrying their own burden of family. It makes me want to say to them now, “Please let me do that for you.”
It’s a privilege –a joy that will too soon be gone, to help bear the daily needs of a family.
Christy Fitzwater is a pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the mother of a son in high school and a daughter in college. She enjoys when the days get shorter and the weather nasty so she doesn’t feel guilty about not going outside. Days where she can just read books and write words all day. She can even tell you the plots of 15 missionary biographies without batting an eye. You can read her personal blog at ChristyFitzwater. Also find her at Pinterest and Twitter.
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