The kids and I had a library play date today. We met another homeschool mom and her four kids. She and I end up getting together about once every three or four months. It’s funny how that sounds like a very long time but in life time it really isn’t that long. Life happens, we blink, and suddenly realize we haven’t done anything but “life” for months. We come up to the surface for an hour of air and conversation, but alas, kids get squirmy and the wintry mix is on its way. We announce to the kids it’s time to clean up the toys, and do most of the picking up anyway because it’s easier, and faster, and less humiliating than having to repeat ourselves too many times in public. We gather coats, check out a book, and look around and take a breath, before diving down into the sea again.
I realize that’s a negative way to describe it.
We actually had a good time. The kids were good and played nicely together. Our library has a cozy and comfortable play place where moms can sit and keep an eye on smaller kids. It did not go unnoticed by me that several moms of tinier children were there utilizing it. One of the moms, who was there alone even asked us if we could keep an eye on her crawling baby while she took another young child into the bathroom. Of course we said, “Of course”, and for a minute or two while sending smiles and faces to the baby I wondered if this was what it felt like to live in a community where moms were not alone.
My mom and I were talking about loneliness recently. She says loneliness is a part of this life, but what matters is what you do with it. My first gut reactions are either anger or compassion. Angry that the world and all of its people are screwed up, or compassion toward this vast sea of people all around me. But anger is a harsh emotion to live with, and not a single soul needs any more harshness in this life. Compassion is soft, and much gentler on the world at large. Jesus says, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart.” The promise is that we would find rest for our souls, and this is where I think we need to start with as moms, with our very own souls. I’m realizing more and more lately that I hold myself to a standard that God has not asked of me. The gentle and lowly Jesus says, “Come here, dear. I’ll take that.”
We had a good time at the library today. This other mom and I understand each other and that’s a rare gift in life. It’s a blessing to have not only another mother to relate with, but also to have a Christian friend who shares the same faith as you. In the midst of our mothering, God provides for me and God provides for this friend, and sometimes the way He does that is through the company of each other. My mom says she can see how God always seemed to send different people in different seasons, and I would say that has been very true for me as well. The past several years have brought some painful experiences with friendship which have severely served to wound me further, but have also sobered me up quite a bit. In all this I am warmed, for by my side has been the Lord who truly is the friend of all.