Four kids steered through pre-church preparations, two kids helped to weather emotional upsets, dishes, Sunday dinner, and Family Home Evening preparations were all done. I’d earned some quiet space. I thought that the me-of-now should get to do something she wanted. So I gathered my journal and scriptures to retreat to my room. I also carried with me a printed article that I’d read on the internet that morning. I’d skim read it in the last moments before the pre-church rush. Something in it called to me, so I printed it for a more in depth reading. Or perhaps for clipping and taping into my River Journal. The events of the day had left no time for pondering until that moment.
The article told the story of a woman who had an invigorating, well-paying, and rewarding job. Yet one evening she discovered herself crying without knowing why. Something about her job did not fill her soul. She realized her life did not give her chances to nurture. I could see why the story resonated for me. I too have cried and then had to puzzle out why. I began to write a journal entry to puzzle out how her experience was different than mine. I started the sentence “I nurture all the time” but stopped halfway through, suddenly not sure that the sentence was true. I spend all day most days creating a family structure optimized for the growth of everyone inside it. Yet building a greenhouse is not the same as tending and fertilizing the plants within it.
There in my room, away from my family I realized that at any free moment my first thought was to retreat, to spend time alone. All day I maintained the structure of the greenhouse and then fled from it rather than relishing the atmosphere inside. As I scratched away with my pen, my four children were downstairs engaged in reading, drawing, and playing. I put my pen down and grabbed a deck of cards. At least I could sit in the same room with them playing solitaire. I could be part of the quiet togetherness that they were having. Within moments of the first card shuffle, Kiki offered to show me a different game. She and I played several rounds together while the other kids played their own games. We laughed a lot. I once dreamed of the time when I could play cards with my kids without having to adapt for young players. I almost missed out on it.
I need to remember that the point of the green house is the flowers.