Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm Not Eating Bon-Bons

On a beautifully sunny day at Water Country, USA I was sitting on a bench waiting for my children to come down from their ride when I met a New Yorker =)
(I smile because our conversation was wonderful and I realize that there really is something very special about New Yorkers).

We fell easily into conversation. She shared how she was raised in Queens, then moved out to Long Island and has lived there ever since. I shared my simple story of being raised in Queens and moved to Virginia, but oh how we laughed at our childhood similarities by being raised in Queens.

We realized, as adults we had something else in common, and it wasn't something that living in Queens taught us- It  is that we are both stay-at-home moms. We differed in how many children we have, she has one child, and I have six, but we found our niche, our common love, and passion and we focused our chat on that-motherhood. She shared how she was convicted to be home for her child. She wanted to be home when he was sick, to help out in his school, to simply be there for him throughout his whole childhood. She shared how difficult it was to combat her friend's and family's expectation of going back to work once her son was in school, but she never wavered. She even gave me a bit of advice, "Don't get a job just because they enter high school cause that's when they need you most." She continued to tell me that she has no regrets because it was the best decision. Her son had just graduated from high school and was going off to college in September. Her job of being a stay-at-home mom was officially over and so she had a job all lined up and ready for her once her son went was off. It was a truly amazing testimony of a woman who knew her God-given role as a mother.

She had talked so much and shared so many gems that she hadn't gotten around to asking me, "How many children do you have?" So, as my children came running up to me after their ride, I could see her eyes counting each one. The inevitable question came: "Are these ALL yours!?" I proudly said, "Yes!" and introduced them to her.

She was silent for a moment, probably thinking back over our twenty minute conversation and putting the pieces together. Her next question was: "And you home school ALL of them?!" This time I laughed and answered her with a confident, "Yes!"

I have seen people surprised by the fact that I have six children and home school, but this woman was completely thrown for a loop! She flooded me with questions. I giggled with each response. It's so funny how people see my life, but I loved how much she wanted to understand and how she was completely uninhibited to probe me.

I could see how she was thinking back over her life- remembering the difficult times in raising one child, keeping after him, driving him to his sporting events, staying up late completing school projects, trying to keep the house clean and of course, having a hot meal on the table each night so the family can sit around together to talk. I could see her thinking about how tough, but rewarding motherhood had been and trying in her mind's eye to see herself with six children.

Her conclusion was classic: "Well, you certainly aren't sitting around the house eating Bon-Bons. You're lucky if you get a few skittles from your kids as they drop to the floor."

The two of us cracked up and laughed together. It wasn't a judgment or a rejection of how I live my life, just a candid fact of how busy I must be. It was a perfect summation. I'm not living the high life with carefree days and expensive Bon-Bons, but what I do have is life- running and chasing kids with a few perks of floor gotten skittles!

Our conversation was actually refreshing. To sit with a fellow mom and simply share how we are called to be stay-at-home moms. We were just two moms loving our calling and humbly proud to walk down a road that many would not understand. We understood each other and were proud of other for doing what was in our heart to do. We never talked about what other moms do nor did we speak words of judgment. It was truly a discussion about us and our lives as moms.

I will never forget this whimsical conversation. It sprung up out of no where, completely unexpected, but so validating. I am called to motherhood and in it's definition for me it means to be home. I am busy and sometimes I don't think I am, but I see how I crash in my bed each night and sleep soundly. But most importantly, I am not panting for the day when I get to laze around and eat Bon-Bons, I found that I am content with my few skittles that fell on the floor as I watch my kids freely run and play. I am a stay-at-home mom and so blessed to be one.  

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