I kept an eye on them from the kitchen window as my five children played in the back yard, washing my dishes I drifted back in time when I had no responsibilities, back when life was carefree, I could read books, use the bathroom and do other things without interruption. Life was good back then, “but life is way better now” I mused to myself. Working my way through the pile of dishes I felt relief and satisfaction on another task done.
Where does grit and courage come from? Is it an outside force or something deep within? I feel it comes from both inside and out. Moms with children can attest to this, its grit that keeps you sane and moving forward when it feels like there is nothing more to give. I have my own gritty stories…
“I think I have it all figured out”, I said as I madly dashed around trying to do everything at once. The house was a wreck and my children were right in the middle loving the messiness. I thought if I did more it would magically get better. I WAS WRONG!
I sit here with a far away look on my face. My mind has wandered back in time and I don’t even notice the wind blowing outside my window. In the corner of my mind I found a memory, a memory filled with laughter and the smell of popcorn. With the voice of my dad reading one of his books to my sister and me. We sit crossed legged on the floor as he unravels this story. He had a gift of telling stories with sound effects.
They were so little, and they took all my hours. I shuffled around and got my work done half the time. I tied shoes, wiped noses, kept them clean and safe the years came and went. They started school, one by one kindergarten, first, second and then third.
I woke up with anticipation of what the day held, it was a Friday, I was fifteen and rebelling against the Amish religion. Music was forbidding but I had my secret stash of tapes and a Walkman tucked into a hole in my mattress. Rolling over I grabbed my Walkman off the night stand. I had time to listen to a few songs, as the rock music beat into my eardrum, I found my happy place. I knew with my bedroom door securely locked there was little chance of getting caught. I lay sprawled on the bed through a few songs lost in the music.
We got settled into our hospital room and as my labor intensified I really thought I was going to die. I had no idea childbirth was this painful. My Dr had never told me anything about this type of pain. As tears rolled down my face I asked my boyfriend to help me, he could only hold my hand and stare wide eyed at me because he couldn’t take the pain away. I had to go through this there was no other way, although I can say it was all worth it.
I woke up sick, rolling over in bed was torture. Dizzily I sat up and sipped some warm water from the glass on my night stand. I immediately regretted it, grabbing my waste basket I threw up. “What did I eat last night that didn’t agree with me?” I muttered.