It was a quiet evening at our house. Cameron was at school, so no one was clamoring for him to wrestle them or read to them or push them on the swings. Abby had gone out to play and Grace was puttering quietly around the house. Jake told me that a neighbor boy is his best friend.
“What do you like about him?” I asked with a smile.
Jake explained that he wasn’t mean like the other neighbor boys. I pried to find out what made the other boys mean, but wasn’t supplied with any concrete information. So I decided to supply a little information myself.
“When people are mean, it’s usually because they hurt inside,” I said. “Those boys don’t have a dad living at their house, and I think it makes them sad.”
He was listening, so I kept on going. “Their mom has to go to work in the middle of the night, and she doesn’t get home till lunchtime. So no one can help them get ready for school in the morning. No one is there to make their breakfast or pack their lunches or drive them to school if they’re late. And she’s always tired from working all night, so when they get home from school she needs to be napping. It’s really hard.”
He listened and seemed receptive as we talked, and the opportunity to open his young eyes to life's complexities felt sacred.
Motherhood is often hard, prayerful, soul-stretching work. But amidst all the striving-for-self-mastery and struggling-to-be-patient moments, we are offered the opportunity to help carve the character and mold the soul of a precious child.
We teach them their worth through our smiles, laughter, and love. We open their eyes through our curiosity and questions. We stretch their souls to receive others as we stretch our souls to receive them.
Yes, motherhood is sacred ground.