Meditations at the stove…

Some people find clarity and answers after meditating for hours on the issues and problems that plague them.  Me…I found my answers scrubbing a stovetop on a Sunday morning.

Due to an unforeseen medical emergency a week ago, I’m on a short term leave of absence from work.  It’s one of my worst nightmares come to life.  I have to be home with my kids…over spring break…while incapacitated…and unable to drive.  My four kids are between the ages of 14 and 11.

I have to take it easy for the next two weeks…and by easy, I mean easy…as in do nothing but walk a little to prevent blood clots, but absolutely nothing else.  Me?  Do nothing but casually move around?  Oh this was not going to end well.

In all fairness, my kids are awesome…but their kids!  On spring break!  Like they’re going to clean the house, cook and run themselves to practices, appointments and friends houses!

My point is simply this.

After only a few hours of restless sleep, when I woke up, this morning to make the coffee, there are dirty dishes in the sink.  The stove…let’s just say…ew.  So…in true mom form, while the coffee was brewing, I busted out the cleaning spray, soaked the stovetop in the hopes of somehow dissolving the top layer of whatever the hell it is my family has incinerated on it.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

While going through these familiar motions…my mind starts to wander.  My body and mind have separated as they often do when faced with shit that just has to get done. My body is going through the motions that it has a million times before.  My mind goes off to la-la land to escape the mundane and daunting task at hand.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

My house is quiet.  My kids…and their friend whose sleeping on the couch, are happy.  My husband is home…safe and in one piece from a job that is dangerous and often sends my cortisone levels through the roof.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

My life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is mine…and I am happy…and my kids are happy.  I am a good mom…wife…daughter…sister…friend.  Life constantly tries to knock me down and off balance…but  I am happy.  My stove is messy…but I am happy.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

Then it hits me.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

My whole adult life has been about working.  Away from or at home, my life up until this point, has been one of service.  For companies and corporations to family and friends, community both locally and nationally…I define myself by my many jobs.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

I’ve always believed the most important years of a kids life where up until they become teens.  You teach them how to do everything.  Get up, brush your teeth, eat healthy, go to school, play well with others, use your manners, clean up after yourself (okay…so this one it takes them a little longer to master), read, love your family, get a good nights sleep.

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  Spray…soak…scrub.  Spray…chisel…spray…scrub…spray…soak…scrub…

Oh my gosh…I was wrong!  They need me most now!  How could I have not understood this!  Did I not live the exact same shit when I was their age?  Oh my gawd!  This is when all the hard shirt really happens!  This is when life starts teaching them the real lessons!  What a real friend is.  What family really means when your hurt and scared and trying to short though the insane feelings of puberty.  Why life doesn’t happened the way it does on TV and in the movies!  Why doesn’t that boy like me?  How am I ever going to survive high school?  Why do my parents always try to ruin my life by making me spend “family time” with them.  Why do I have to do these dumb ass chores?  Why can’t I sleep in until noon?  Why does the world hate me?  How am I suppose to know what the hell I want to do with my life…I’m just a kid!

Spray…wipe…spray…wipe.  The stove is clean.

My kids need me now more than ever.  Although this is the time in their lives when I physically have to start to letting them go, now…more than ever…is when they need me emotionally and mentally.  Now more than ever is when they need a mom and not a friend.  They need stability and structure.  They need to know that although they have to start dealing with life in all it’s glory and messiness, they won’t have to do it alone.  I am here for them.  For the first time in my life, I want to be a stay-a-home mom.

The stove is clean…my mission is clear.  My heart is light.  I am happy.

Namaste.

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