One of the reasons I have not allowed myself to write - is my thoughts are always so scattered. I look at other writer's - and they seem to have a purpose - a theme.
Not so much me.
And my "best" material always comes to me in the shower, where I can't take notes. Or when I am trying to go to sleep.
And then when I do try and put pen to paper - poof - those wonderful "tidbits" seem to be gone.
But one of my scattered random thoughts of late has been Motherhood. Or rather people's perception of what a mother is.
See most know I have seven children, but when those seven children were all little and around me all the time (insert "sigh" where did the time go?) people would CONSTANTLY ask - are THOSE ALL YOUR CHILDREN? Why yes they are. Thank you. But it never would end there, some people would be as crass to say (mind you IN FRONT of our children) do you not know what birth control is? or better yet, you must be Catholic? or you must be Mormon? (as if either of those things would be bad) or some must be "his" and some must be "hers"? My younger self just would pretty much slide away with my little chicks and say no they are all OURS, not his nor hers. On better days I might get out - Yes, I do know what birth control is. But I would not say much. My much more wiser self today would say yep, I am Catholic and my Husband is Mormon and walk away. :-)
But see our story isn't skin deep. (most people's stories aren't).
When the kids were real young - people would press - so which one's are "really yours" and which ones did you "adopt". Mind you - IN FRONT OF OUR CHILDREN. I would try and politely say - they are ALL ours, but some people just won't take a clue. - Often I would hear "oh I know, but really which ones are which?" My younger self would oblige- but my much more wiser self today would say - "you know I just don't remember". :-)
If I had a nickel for every time I heard "you gave birth to ALL 7" children, I would be one wealthy mom.
Depending on the day, or situation, I have said yep, and left it at. Who really has time for the "real, whole story"? I have tried to shorten it, but there really is no shortening a life story - but I have gotten it down to "well I have given birth five times, and have 7 children, 3 of which are adopted". But see that doesn't really answer the question for most - because that math doesn't really add up correctly, so people press - and then it is "well our first child was stillborn". If I was smarter I would of just said I have given birth five times, have 8 children, 3 of which are adopted, but then that poses the question where is the 8th child? and see it just not that simple.
And why does it matter to people? As if giving birth to all 7 children makes them more mine. I don't advocate lying, but sometimes you get tired of putting yourself in a place of explanation. It's just not a short story. And it's a very personal one.
But looking back I now realize - I had many opportunities to share God's love and grace and courage. For that is the only reason this wife and mother is still standing - and standing strong. Because God's handiwork has been woven ever so delicately throughout our lives. It wasn't me that was holding it all together - but it was and is and will continue to be - God.
Thankfully in the last ten to fifteen years or so - I started to realize we have something awesome to share versus just cower away at people's bizarre stares and crazy questions. That it hasn't always been pretty, but it has been covered by God's love, grace and mercy.
More scattered thoughts I am sure to come . . . .