Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Table: 0, Olivia: 1

There are some tasks that are repetitious as a mother and housewife, ones that I do every day, sometimes three, four, five times. One that bothers me most if it is not done is the table. If it has dishes on it, crumbs and smears from the previous meal, it is something that nags at me until I get around to wiping it. Our table was passed down to us from Tharin's grandma, and I know she kept it in pristine condition - always covered in a cloth, probably even two. While I love the history behind it, it is not the most practical table for our life. The plastic-matte tabletop is nearly impossible to wipe without streaks, and you can see every single speck left behind. Honestly, it is a source of daily frustration. As are the chairs with all their nooks and cracks and knobs, perfect for the smearing of food and playdoh.

As I was wiping the table today, I thought to myself, "we should get a different table. One that is more kid friendly, plain, easier to wipe." But as I scrubbed at that dried-on spaghetti, knowing I would be seeing the streaks of it for days unless I actually took Windex to it, I realized therein lies one of my biggest shortcomings.

In that moment, I was wasting my suffering. Yes, it is a tiny suffering, but it is a frustration I experience every single day, and I waste it.

At least I know for myself, I am always looking for solutions to make life easier. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, but having the mindset that everything in life should be easy, is. For one, because it never will be - when it comes to the monotonous things about keeping house, doing my duties, being the one to wipe eighty percent of the dirty bums, there will always be hard days. Secondly, because our struggles and frustrations are tools that are meant to edify us, so in doing away with so many of them, I lose the opportunity they would offer me to grow.

I keep coming around to this realization in different ways throughout the cycle of my life. It is a reality of being stay-at-home mom, that much of the things I do in my day are not noteworthy, that while raising children is a great task, the day-to-day of it does not look very impressive. This is why I must learn from Mother Teresa and her attitude towards the little things when she said, “not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Spraying a diaper is still not idyllic. Nor is picking clothes off the floor, wiping the table, vacuuming the area rug (which could be done every hour, I swear), washing the floor on my hands and knees (because we currently do not have a mop). But in these daily chores, in these small details of my vocation, I have the opportunity to grow in grace, patience, love; all things I am constantly praying for.

I know I will be learning this one again, but for today, I will take the offering of grace presented in the horrible streaks left by our playdoh escapades this afternoon. Table: 0, Olivia:1

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