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I had the most interesting conversation yesterday. Brick building.
Let me explain.
I was talking to Mrs. M; wonderful lady, her. You know how much I love her company. She and I have had such interesting conversations about home making. She stays home with her kids, as you know. Homeschool, even. She and I have talked a lot about parenting, what’s different in our lives, what is very much the same.
So this weekend, she said that she sees her job as brick builder.
You know, hon, someday, when you marry and become a mom, you will be building a home in the most literal sense. Not the brick and mortar kind. The kind where human hearts go for rest, protection and nurturing. The kind where your family will play and love and learn and grow. That kind of home. The home that lives inside the four walls. That inside, harder to see home needs building too.
Brick building is messy. It can’t happen quickly either. And the bricks aren’t always pretty. But we continue on, building bricks and putting them in place, day by day, one brick at a time, building our home.
Meal together, brick. Changing a diaper with a smile and a coo for baby, brick. The bedtime routine: lavender bath, books out loud, kiss-and-I-love-you, brick. Sitting on the sofa by the fireplace, snuggling in the quiet crackle and warmth, brick. Looking you in the eye when you tell me how amazing Field Day was, or how difficult school can be, brick. Our fun traditions: Pumpkin Patch, Christmas Coupons, Spaghetti Cook-Off, all bricks. Doing your laundry, signing the permission slips, taking you to your doctor’s appointments, brick, brick, brick.
All our little routines. All the countless ways we love.
We working mommies, we don’t have as much time for brick building. And we have to be really careful to save energy for the process; it’s too easy for us to leave our best energy at work, and arrive home tired and cranky. Protect yourself from that, darling. Protect your family. That work you are giving so much of your life to won’t be there in your old age to love you. And no paycheck, no title, no win at trial or in the marketshare game will ever, ever feel the smallest fraction as good as it feels to be hugged by a joyful child. Your child.
I’ve told you, and I mean it, that you get to pick your mommy life. You’ll get to choose your career. You’ll choose how much you work and where and when. You’ll choose your partner, and the conversations you have about work and money and raising kids before you get married. You’ll choose how healthy you stay, which will have a huge impact on how much you can get done in a day.
While you are making all these choices, keep the goal in mind: brick building. To the best of your ability (within the limits of the unpredictability and vagaries of life) leave room for brick building.
It’s the very best part of this grown-up thing.