I think there is a certain amount of idealism that is essential to motherhood.
That sense of what ought to be, the loveliness of what if it was…the brilliant beauty of the very idea of it. Not so that the grip on reality is loosened, but so that the weight of reality should not discourage us from striving forward, into giving up.
I idealize a life with my children where an integral part of their education is the thinking on and celebration of things that are true, pure, and lovely. Not an accent, or a side-subject, or an extra-curricular, if you will; but a living and breathing part of the everyday, until it overtakes our thoughts and all things impure and unlovely and untrue are repulsive and make us shudder involuntarily and turn away.
Shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
On Wednesday my cousin Brittany came down with her son Beren, and the boys ran around outside while we sat on a blanket and talked.
We decided, with a burst of excitement and childish delight, to make flower crowns from the multitude of cornflowers and Queen Anne’s Lace that was growing in the fields.
Neither of us really know how to make them, but we made it work; though mine was just a smidgen too big, they were lovely.
The bigger boys–Ephraim and Beren–ran over to us when they saw our crowns. “Are you princesses??” they asked excitedly. Yes, we were. “Then we are princes!” they declared, and they went on adventures in the long grass and flowers until the Princesses decided that Their Royal Highnesses must come out of the field and be checked for ticks.
I can remember hours and hours and hours of playing with Brittany and my sister and her sister, princesses and paupers and everything in between, and the Narnia Tree at Grandma’s House which was the portal between our world and that of Aslan.
We’re shaped by those moments–the things that filled our heads as children surely mold our adult selves, too.
Tomorrow there will be time-outs and refused meals, potty accidents and temper tantrums, too many toys and a Mama who won’t let them watch a show. But there will also be time taken to run in the rain, and to make a fort in the spare bedroom, to listen to bob-whites and listen to poetry. It’s up to me to make sure that second list happens despite the former list; ideally, anyway.