I could use a little more time under my apron. As any mother knows you can't even get privacy in the bathroom! As soon as I climb into the tub I'm host to a parade. All of a sudden there are a dozen questions to be answered--urgently, outfits (or get-ups....there's a fine line) to approve, splinters to take out, and "Mommy, how long will you be in there?"
When I tie on my apron my mind switches from relaxed to industrious. Suddenly I feel like mulching the garden, making floral arrangements for every room, baking some cookies and tidying the place up. When that's done how about an old fashioned hand-written letter to a grandmother, a long-distance friend, or just someone that could use a little cheering up.
I firmly believe that my job--raising these little people who call me Mommy--is the most important job in the world. Maybe that sounds like a trite little thing women say to themselves to assuage feelings of insecurity for not doing the really important things--you know like working at the bank or writing for the newspaper or teaching other people's children. But, it is not just something I say. It's something I mean.
The most important time in all of our earthly lives is when we are wee ones at our mother's knees, when we play in our nurseries and eat Cheerios from a little cup while someone tells us nursery rhymes and fairy tales. If you think about it, adults rarely talk about anything really important or eternal. In the big scheme of things, mortgage rates, what so-and-so wore on the red carpet, when we should put tires on the car, what the State Legislature is currently doing--well, it's just not that important. Children on the other hand ask the real existential questions.
What's on the other side of the sky?
Will animals be with us in heaven?
If Jesus is King, who is Queen?
Is there a reason I can't have ice cream for breakfast?
The person who gets to shape a young mind and answer these questions and verily, put the entire universe in context for another, has the most important job in the world. Tomorrow's movers and shakers are today being toted around in MobyWraps while their mother's read the labels on cereal at Trader Joes. Tomorrow's politicians, apostles, and those who will look out for our souls are today having their souls shaped while their mothers teach them to potty, say their ABC's and use a spoon.
My mother tells the story, much to my chagrin, of how she asked me when I was a young child what I wanted to be when I grow up. I named a few things. She said, "How about a mommy?" I replied, "Oh, no. I want to do something important."
And now I cannot imagine leaving my home and my apron for a cubical and a briefcase. The demotion would kill me.
“It is not difficult to see why the female became the emblem of the universal … Nature …. surrounded her with very young children, who require being taught not so much anything as everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment … is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. … How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.” G. K. Chesterton
So, ladies, how about a little time under our aprons getting the perspective of heaven and then a little time with our aprons on changing the course of the world. Who knew that apron strings were a means of bringing heaven to earth!
I'll start with a tea cake and go from there. Let's see where God leads me today, under my apron.