Today is just one of those days where I feel out of sorts and rather grumpy, though I don’t have anything in particular to blame for my mood. I just feel cross at Job for being fussy, I feel cross about being at home, and I feel cross that I have yet to think about something for dinner. Thankfully, on such days, I have my beloved Anne of Green Gables series to give me a “pick me up”.
If I hadn’t been such a fan of the Anne series when I was younger, I would probably be quite disgusted by them now. The first two books, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea feel realistic enough, but in the next six books, Anne really becomes kind of sickly perfect. Somehow she manages to become everyone’s friend and find solutions to the trickiest problems, all with a carefree smile and without allowing a trace of envy or bitterness to creep into her heart. But somehow, Anne managed to win me over as a child and now, for me, she has become somewhat of an inspiration. Surely if Anne can transform a “sour old gossip” into a life long friend, then I can find a trace of love in my heart for the painfully slow grocery clerk who took ten minutes to bag my order.
So today, I turn to Anne to find inspiration for motherhood. I’m reading the sixth book in the series, Anne of Ingleside, Anne is the joyful mother of six, and she is still madly in love with her dashing husband, Gilbert. It seems that nothing can get Anne down, not a son who is feeling a bit rebellious, not a newborn baby when she already has 5 young children, not even a grouchy old aunt whose two week visit turns into a year long stay. Instead Anne seems to be invigorated by her children’s problems, and somehow her house is always orderly (I’m sure the live-in servant helps ease the stress a bit!). The book is sickly sweet, and really I should throw it down in disgust because it’s so far from reality. But instead, I find myself inspired.
I think it’s because Anne is a nice change of pace. I could find a dozen other mom’s who would like to have a pity party along with me. But instead, Anne doesn’t pity herself, rather she rises nobly up to meet the problems. She doesn’t become drained by her children’s antics, rather she finds an opportunity to encourage creativity. She doesn’t gripe about the endless housework, rather she takes joy in keeping a cozy home. Anne even finds a way to bless the pesky, whinny aunt.
And so I feel invigorated to emulate Anne’s patience and perseverance. So here are my own hopes and dreams for carrying out my task of motherhood. Perhaps most of it is unrealistic, but I feel that if I don’t have a list of things that I hope to be, then I shall fail to be anything. Here is my list:
1) to patiently and seriously listen to my children’s woes and grievances.
2) to not rush through my day trying to get a to-do list finished, but rather taking time for each individual in my home.
3) to encourage my children in imaginative play and not just resort to movies because it’s convenient.
4) to take time to tell bedtime stories and sing lullabies (which means I also need to take time to learn lullabies…).
5) to take time to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Well, hopefully that wasn’t too sickly sweet for you, but rather inspiring to create your own dream about what you’d like your mothering to look like despite the mess, the pile of dishes, and the crying child! Please post what some of your hope are, I’d love to also be inspired by your goals.