As a stay at home mom of three, my days sometimes feel repetitive and I can’t help but wonder if I am cut out for this job. Am I affecting anyone or making an impact when it comes to the bigger picture or am I just wasting a hidden calling as I mop up spills, breakup fights, wipe tears and noses, fold an endless pit of laundry and bathe others before I even brush my hair. These feelings of doubt are even more magnified as my husband walks through the door and my kids squeal with delight and forget my existence until their tummies rumble and it’s time to eat. Was I living up to what my life was meant to be? In one moment and breath my question was answered with YES. In this same instant passion in what I do as a mom of three little ones came bubbling over almost causing my heart to burst. Eureka.
This eureka moment came in the late hours of a Friday night. My husband, Erik, and I had recently started a weekly “sleepover” ritual with our four-year-old, Braxton, one night of the weekend. We put our toddler twins to sleep and dragged blankets and pillows down the stairs to the living room on the main floor. After creating a cozy sleeping den out of the floor, couches and cushions we settled into our pajamas and started the movie carefully chosen from our local library. When deciding on the Friday night “feature film,” Erik and I discussed movies we had seen as children, what would be okay for a four year old to see and understand. Jumanji? Yes. Wizard of Oz? No, flying monkeys too scary. This particular Friday night we decided on a Robin Williams film from the 90’s, Hook. Braxton was into Disney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates as well as Peter pan. It would be perfect!
Making it through the movie with one bathroom break and a hefty bowl of cereal, the movie was nearing the last half hour when a flashback of Pan’s entire life was depicted on the screen for the audience. Beginning with a depiction of Peter Pan as just a beautiful baby in carriage next to his mother. As the movie rolled on the carriage slipped down a hill taking Pan from his mother. As I sat nestled between my husband and sweet Braxton I turned to look at my eldest baby. Looking at my little boy, I could see he was distraught and asked if he was okay. With tears in his eyes and a quivering lip my eldest son asked, “Why did the baby leave his mommy?” My husband now realizing something wasn’t right and also asked what was wrong. Braxton fell into my arms and chest and began to cry as he said again “Why did the baby leave his mommy?” I instantly tried to reassure him that the baby would find his mommy again. His little arms tightened their grip around my neck as he burrowed his tiny face into my neck. Erik asked if Brax wanted the movie off, he quickly responded with a yes and asked me again about the baby and the mommy. I told him not to worry, holding him close and running my hand across his delicate brow.
As my first born lay in my arms and his breath began to rise and fall with my own, as if we were one rather than two, a sense of calm, love and gratefulness engulfed my inner self. A feeling that can only be described as if seeing something so incredibly beautiful for the first time, your breath is literally taken away by the magnitude of intensity. Eureka indeed. As my own eyes filled with tears I realized IT was all worth it, this WAS what I was put on this earth to do, I WAS making an impact and FULFILLNG my divine calling. I DID matter and so did my work as a mommy. Here was this enormous and impactful lesson given by my small child. Not only was he reassuring me that I was doing the job I was meant for, but I was beyond proud that this little man of just four years old had the compassion and such a loving heart that he was moved to tears, worried about a baby that he hadn’t even met.
I think back to that night if I find myself even remotely stressed with daily life. I breathe in remembering the feel and smell of Braxton’s skin as he had burrowed into my arms. Doing so causes my heart to swell again, bringing my mind and soul to a calmer place. It was a moment on just an ordinary Friday but one that I will remember for my entire life, for it answered the question that some search their whole lives for, what is the purpose of MY life.