My Rats Are Disappearing

I had a moment last night. Sam had gas, hunger, stuffy nose, and then playtime – two hours total. The moment was when, rocking him and letting him hold one of my hands for comfort, I thought, “Where else would I really rather be?” And I meant it. This is a big deal, because honestly, this mothering thing has not been easy. It’s a very, very hard job. But not “hard” like you think. Actually anyone could do the work, which is why you can pay $10 an hour to most any teenager to do the job for a few hours. In fact, it’s largely mundane, repetitive, menial tasks, if we’re being honest. Mostly, I wash dishes, read kiddie books and change diapers. Not Einstein.
No, the “hardness” of mothering, I realized, comes not in the quality but the quantity. It never, never stops. From the moment they set your precious little bundle on your chest, every, single minute will be different. Sure, you still enjoy a nap, cup of coffee, conversation with your husband, REM cycle of sleep every once in a while, but each is enjoyed tentatively, with the knowledge that at any moment you could and probably will be called out of yourself for another job. I find myself holding my breath a lot. But I don’t just mean in a bad way, of course. For the whole time your heart is also bigger, filled with more love, worry, and depth than it ever has been. But it is constant.
I’m not good at that kind of love. I’m more used to the love that shows up during a pre-planned week of June in Peru, from the hours of 8-3 in a classroom, or momentarily after a convicting quiet time. This every minute kind of love I can’t do. C.S. Lewis has a quote about rats in the cellar that keeps coming to mind…When you turn on a light, that’s when you see how many rats are there, just like sudden disruptions reveal our character. Hopeful thinking, maybe, but I’m wondering after last night if some of my rats are disappearing….Is it possible the cute little guy in farm animal pajamas is chasing them away? 🙂

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One thought on “My Rats Are Disappearing

  1. Jessica-This post just brought me to tears. Thank you for summing up exactly how I've also been feeling the last 16 weeks of being a new mom.I am enjoying reading about your journey! : ) Love,Teryn

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