What Is Really Important In Life?


When Life is Stripped Down to The Basics

One afternoon before Easter, I was ironing cotton dresses and shirts for church the next day. Six year old Claire watched for a while and then pointed to the iron and asked,

“What is that mummy?”

I laughed because I realized that this little girl had never seen me iron; I usually used the clothes dryer as my wrinkle smoother when I wasn’t looking for perfection but rather efficiency. Actually it was not just the iron that seldom received attention as I mothered a large family, something that I considered essential was eliminated from my life with the birth of every child.

Painting portraits went with my first-born. Other births gave the boot to crafts, dusting, bread making, interesting meals and laundry folding ( each child dressed out of their own personal laundry basket). As every mother knows, a newborn takes at least eight hours a day to nurse, burp, rock and comfort, bath, change clothes and diapers( at least ten times a day), and to wash diapers, clothes, receiving blankets, sheets and baby blankets as well as your clothes which tend to get covered in vomit, and other nasty surprises.

laura&liam
laura&liam

The lack of sleep leads to a rather narrow existence where the best days are when you can sneak in a nap or shower and dress before noon. Oh, those were the days when life was reduced to the basics.

Guess what?

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Ann Marshall pastel & paper collage

Those basics were actually miraculous when I relaxed and allowed myself to live in the moment, enjoying my newborn rather than bemoaning all the important activities that I couldn’t seem to even start. The very fact that everything that my little one required to grow and thrive was inexpensive and near at hand was amazing. My baby didn’t need a lot of money spent on him, he simply needed arms to hold him, mother’s milk to drink and warm clothes and blankets.

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A friend who had five children, couldn’t quite grasp my peaceful demeanour as I sat nursing a newborn with family life whirling about me. She finally surmised that I was content to enjoy the present experience of mothering a tiny, dependant newborn.

I think that I was given the gift of understanding that although I strove to run the household well, ultimately I trusted that my failings would be covered and hidden by Love.

Isn’t that what Lent is all about; stripping off the supercilious to discover what is really important in life?

2 thoughts on “What Is Really Important In Life?

  1. Such a beautiful and precious reminder for new and many-times-over parents! Lent does seem a good time to review parenting philosophies and methods… and we have our children to guide us.

    Thank you for sharing your post and quote 🙂

    Like

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