Garden flowers for my birthday, delivered boy-style, via a dump truck
After one of many summer doctor visits, I entered an elevator, followed by 3 bouncy children. They were all vying, let's say "enthusiastically," to PRESS THE BUTTON! The woman already in there took a look at them, and then my large, pregnant belly, and chuckled to herself.
"You must stay busy!" she said.
"Never a dull moment at our house." I replied.
"Well, I think you must be the bravest woman in the world right now!" she exclaimed. In my head, I responded, "Actually, I think my mother-of-8-boys friend earns that title, but hey, I'll take it! I'll take it!"
"Or the craziest!" is how I actually responded.
She laughed, and then, following our herd out of the elevator, said the best sentence of the day:
"Yeah, aren't they so rewarding though?!"
Of course they are.
Yes, I am tired, sore, overwhelmed, and impatient at times, but the reward is so high. Any struggle falls short to the joy my children bring me. Any analogy of cups overflowing or hearts bursting is not enough to describe this joy.
Before I had children, I didn't know. I heard a lot of "they're worth it!" exclamations, but I had no clue. No grasp, no concept. They sure seemed like an awful lot of work. I always saw lots of messes, yelling to the back of the minivan, mom jeans, and dark under-eye circles. That lack of sleep? No thanks.
I wondered if I was unselfish enough to be a parent.
But something inside did long to be a mother, and I had faith that those future children really were worth it. I'm so glad I didn't shy away from the most fulfilling part of my life because it looked hard.
I was talking to my husband about how little I knew about the joy part, and how I wished more was written or expressed about what it was like. What I could look forward to.
I think that goes for many rewarding things though. It's hard to express the elevated feelings of achievement, joy, or "I can't believe I did that!" It's hard to understand the sweetness of that moment without trudging through the mucky path that leads there. Contrast is the key player- the harder the challenge, the greater the reward. The trick is to remember this in the thick of the obstacles, even if there's no one there to tell us about the joy part.
I am grateful for the opportunity to do hard things. Right now that mostly involves messes, under-eye circles, and our minivan. However, I never would have earned the "Bravest Woman in the World" title any other way ;).
And that is a title that sure carries a lot of joy.
What hard things have brought you fulfillment?