A small rubber boot confronted me from the road at the end of the driveway as I rolled our trash can to the curb early one morning. A boot belonging to a boy belonging to me, and so wildly out of place — dropped by a toddler the evening before.
When, as a young adult, I imagined my mature life, I imagined order and calm. Yet here I am, collecting small blue boots from the street, finding cars in the cabinet beside the coffee, trucks in the Tupperware drawer, a milk cup upside down — and slowly dripping — in the media cabinet. I still struggle with personal organization and orderliness, and four small boys have only increased the challenge.
There is little quiet, little calm, yet there is a profound sense of rightness. Our belongings may be in all the wrong places, but I am where I ought to be. Juggling a baby and a Bible, a sippy cup and a cup of hot tea before six in the morning is as challenging as it sounds, and I am not always glad to be doing it in the moment. Yet I am profoundly grateful to be doing it.
Motherhood has little glamor, really, and plenty of scope for soul-searching and fears of failure, but, in these little years at least, there’s also the reassurance that these people have been given to me, and my job is blindingly clear: fill the cup with milk; change the diaper that has caused the damp pajamas; read the chapter over and under and around the curly head; retrieve the blue boot from the street.
These certainties are gifts, which — when I do well — I receive with joy. One day, I won’t have trucks amongst the Tupperware. But I’m glad that isn’t today.
©Stacy Crouch 2022