I have found myself not posting much lately.
Obviously, since the last time I wrote was JULY!
Despite moving cross country, living in the in between for over a month while single parenting, getting the kids enrolled in school, homeschooling, painting and updating a new house, and getting a bunny, I have stopped writing because my internal editor has been working over time. See, I process in my head and refine ideas in my writing. When I don't have time to write, and thus refine, I find I avoid it least it seem unfinished.
So this is me, getting over myself. I will write half thoughts, drop terribly unbaked ideas, and subject you all to all types of drivel that may not make a drop of sense.
You have been warned.
So today is Eliana's 8th birthday. I am afraid up until this point I have learned more from being a parent that I have possible been able to pour into this kid. I get the better part of this deal, hands down. I hope that maybe MY learning will slow down so I would maybe feel even a little less inept at this motherhood thing.
I have always said that if you want to know how selfish you are, get married. And when you are ready for part 2 of that lesson, have a kid. I was reading an article about 12 rules to live by, and one of the things it said was to be of service. Now this particular author doesn't necessarily subscribe to my religious beliefs and I doubt they knew how profoundly this might speak to some one who thinks like I do.
You see, I believe if you want to live the loneliest, least fulfilling life possible, live for yourself, focusing only on what you can achieve for you, how comfortable and happy you can be. The greatest and hardest lesson I think we ever have to learn (and we learn it repeatedly and in so many ways) is that life is all about me. Want to be happy, stop thinking about your own happiness and start using your abilities to bless those around you.
The statement that really rocked me was this:
"It was then that I realized that I was looking for a payoff for simply being of service, and that was when my life changed. It isn't an act of kindness if you expect something for it, and once you remove the payoff from the equation, you will find yourself catapulted to the next level of true selflessness, and that is the understanding that the reward for loving is loving; the reward for being of service is being of service. And the self-esteem that comes from reaching out and helping other people is invaluable. Because it gets you out of your own head and helps you not feel overwhelmed by problems or other concerns. It helps you feel connected."
So when I do something to serve someone else, then chafe at not being noticed, I have taken something that SHOULD bring joy to my life and sucked all the love right out of it by making it all about me.
Kids start as babies. Babies are truly thankless beings, they suck everything out of you, your time, you ability to sleep, the right to pee and shower by yourself. Early motherhood taught me that parenting is really a thankless job. The baby doesn't really care that you got no sleep and just wanted 5 minutes to drink a cup of coffee. I think God does this on purpose. It is so easy to make our worlds all about us, to be the center of our own universe and when we step out to serve someone else, to assume everyone should stroke our egos by telling us how great we are.
Infants suck at lip service. My babies never once told me I was an amazing mother for wiping their butts at 2 am.
I serve my children because they are my blessings from God, because, from the start, I want to show them what a life of love looks like and love is an action. As they grow, I will continue to teach them to serve others with what they have been given. I will teach them that they are a blessing, uniquely gifted and able to help others. I will work, daily, to remember this of myself.
I am still shockingly, embarrassingly, hopelessly selfish. Too often my thoughts go to "whats in it for me" or even the ever juvenile "well, thats not fair!". I guess I still have a lot of learning to do, but with the grace of God and maybe a good therapist, maybe my kids will turn out ok despite me.