There was a point, two years and two children into the mothering thing, where the sheen wore off and reality hit hard. This bit about raising kids? It wasn’t backpacking Europe, and it wasn’t a pressing college term. It wasn’t a twelve hour day barista-ing a coffee cart, after which was a blessed weekend with nothing to do.
No, motherhood was better than all that. Richer. Fuller. More true. And also unending.
I fought hard with it then, with the make-over of my identity. I saw in my wake the blazing trail forged by a myriad of self-deaths. Motherhood, it cuts to the heart of you. Cuts out the heart of you. If you give yourself to it, you’ll be made new.
Well, here we are, two years into the military. Two years, the maximum amount of attention I’ve ever had to pay to anything (outside the realm of relationships). As it was with motherhood, it is at two years that the army beings to itch something fierce: I begin looking beyond my fence into the yards of Everybody Else.
There is no other yard but the one I’ve been given.
I intend to make them my people who people
this unwhole place, to be of them, to be an
.outsider no longer, to no longer stand aloof
No Pygmalion spent more time chiseling on knees
than I intend to do. I intend to embrace the soil
of this place, to clear the air with true stories and a
wholesale slaughter of lies; to garden so immaculately
.that everyone will talk about our roses
I intend to love you here also
.as I have loved you in every other place
So it is, I find that I am Jacob yet again, and after all. Wrestling the Night with an angel; pushing through to the Blessing; entering, with a limp, the Dawn.
The struggle may have been with the military, but the story is ancient and ageless, both.
What about you? Through what nights are you wrestling? Do your eyes see that bright, hopeful future?