The Eye of the Beholder

The other day, my husband was staring morosely into the mirror. He actually apologized to me for his thinning hair.

“Honey,” I said, “Do you see the shiny hairs on my head?”

“Shiny hairs? No, what are you talking about?”

“Look at my part…do you see all those shiny gray hairs there?”

“Mmmm…I suppose there are a few…”

“Yes, and I suppose your hair is thinning.”

Truthfully, love is blind. I have quite a bit more than just a few gray hairs. And yes, if I compare my husband’s head to photos taken 4 or 5 years ago, the difference is noticeable. But we, thankfully, don’t see that about each other.

Similarly, when I read about a “day in the life” of another homeschool mom, I wonder where she has the time and energy to do all that. I write about my own day, and I think I am describing the gray hairs, but nobody seems to notice them.

Really. Let’s get past the running at 430 am, ok? Let’s look at children who have to be dragged to the school table, children who cease their dutiful labors the very minute I leave them unattended. How about the laundry that isn’t done or the dishes in the sink? And what’s up with not realizing until too late that I should have started those pork chops an hour ago?

And what’s missing from my day? Snuggling on the couch with my children and a pile of books. Baking something for dessert. Playing a board game. Doing a craft…or at least letting my kids play with Playdoh. It’s not that we don’t do these things, because we do. Sometimes. But not as much as we used to, and not as much as I would like. And I just have to accept that this is the way it is right now. It is a temporary thing, and as long as I hold on to that vision of where I’d like to be, we’ll get back there eventually.

Fritz is currently working on a new poem for memorization: The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The blacksmith labors from dawn until dusk with each day much like the last.

Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.

His is not an easy life. There is no lolling on a porch swing watching the sun set or savoring a good book. But he puts in an honest day’s work and sleeps well at night. This is how I see my current life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to prove my mettle – to prove to myself that I can do this hard job.

But, oh! for a cozy fire, a cup of tea, a clean house, a good novel, and nothing much to do!

6 thoughts on “The Eye of the Beholder

  1. I suspect that most people post about their very best days, too. what about the days that start with the dog peeing in her crate so I have to wash both dog and crate and I forgot to dry the laundry so the kids are out of pants and we have doctor appointment at 9:45, can we go in pajamas? Oops, we’re out of milk, guess we aren’t eating cereal…

    More days go like that, I think, than go smoothly according to plan.

  2. But the easy life would turn out to be miserable, don’t you think? For one thing, you would have given up that which you cherish most – your family. Yeah, I know. I commented on a rhetorical. Let’s just say your post really spoke to me, Michelle. 🙂

  3. You know, when we have our “good” days and we get to spend time with our kids outside of the “I am teacher hear me roar” setting… I still have a hard time settling down to enjoy it! Just the other day my oldest put in “Fiddler on the Roof” and I sat and watched with them for a total of 10 minutes because I started to feel GUILTY that I was not DOING something! I got up and left them snuggled on the couch to make dinner, balance the check book and wipe down some toilets. I guess I am more of a Martha than a Mary—

  4. Great thoughts, Michelle. I know Elizabeth Foss has said she hopes her daily recount of the days events is not only beneficial for others, but for herself too.

    Wake up. Do the best we can and try to better each day – even if it’s one thing at a time. You are an inspiration. One of those great moms I spoke of in my blog.

  5. I’m working on my “day in the life” and found it VERY interesting to see what I do and why….

    I never knew all the weird reasons I have for the way I go about my day…

    No, it’s not easy, never perfect, but at least we don’t give up!

  6. Michelle, I am just glad to hear that I am not the only mom who has to drag her boys to the table and stay on top of them to get their work done (and not just schoolwork, but house work/picking up/getting dressed as well!).

    I was beginning to wonder…

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