Motherhood (as I’m sure fatherhood) brings a new set of challenges in life; I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not just because I love my kids, but because it’s like putting on a new pair of glasses, seeing the world with slightly new shapes and colors. So though I often lament, I do so with a humble posture, understanding that working the soil and breaking ground come long before fruit or harvest.
Most recently, and many thanks to my husband’s transformation to Gimpy, I’ve realized the weight of being needed as opposed to wanted. Not in the “give me my stuff and get out of my room” kind of way, but we have yet to venture to the teenage years. No, my kids do enjoy spending time with their parents, they even crave quality time reading books or being chased. Herein lies the challenge: they don’t just want it, they need it. Being needed goes beyond filling the sippy cups, buttoning pants, wiping buns, or serving dinner. These young years require face time, wrestle time, book time, prayer time, and conversation time to help them continue to grow and develop. H likes watching TV; he needs mommy or daddy to “tuck him in tight.”
Enter things like breastfeeding or teething and being needed climbs new heights. And quite honestly, it can be quite exhausting. And when the parenting partner isn’t able to jump in, either because he lacks lactating glands or because his ability to
jump walk in any sense is hindered by an over-enthusiastic attempt at getting into shape, the daily routine of needs begins to feel heavier.
So, thanks to Shoffstall’s physical science class, I know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The key is to know what counters the weight, which is different for each person. I’m starting to see that my equal/opposite is the feeling of being wanted. Not just because something depends on me, but for the sheer enjoyment.
One way I receive this is through good conversation. Sometimes it’s about mundane things like campers; other times it’s heavier life stuff, Kingdom dealings. It can be imagining what could be, dreaming of how to see it become reality, brainstorming brilliant ideas or solving the problems of the world. But I balance my neededness with verbal processing, quality conversation. I like to take a seat at the table as a normal participant.
So, in the spirit of Easter, I’m taking a Sunday. I’ve been living with the weight of being needed to the point where I need a new breath, a Resurrecting conversation if you will. So, I’m going to have lunch with a friend. (No pressure or anything for my lunch date, right?). I hope to return this evening the willing giver of the needed elements of life.