The repetition of motherhood allows easy access to the zen-like tranquility of repetition. I will pick up every little crumb, every stick, every torn paper, every cereal ring, every shoe, every backpack. I will pick up every piece of clean laundry that has been scattered around the house. I will vacuum and sweep every bit of broken glass and broken ceramic. I will do it without hesitation-- most of the time.
I will help Micah watch this Scooby-Doo movie a hundred more times and find something new in it every time, like he does. This cultural tendril that forms a root in his thoughts. How does he do it? If I pay attention to the movie there are new aspects every time. I try to focus in on the music only, or just the sound effects. Or actually follow the storyline.
Laundry is an especially indulgent pleasure of motherhood. It begs to be simplified every time. Let go, let go, let go. And folding is such a naturally contemplative time that it allows you to occupy the moment. Also hanging out the laundry in the most effecient way is a mental treat.
Today as I withdrew the laundry from the clothesline I overheard my parrot-voiced neighbor cawing her usual routine with her squealing toddler grandson/charge, when the tone changed to more threatening on the part of the parrot and more frantic, apologetic crying on the part of the toddler. I won't go into the peeping-tom details of the discipline ordeal, but it *did* leave me feeling like a stick was in my throat. Suffering is real, and sometimes it is easier to recognize it in others.
I realized that I had said and done all the offenses that were presently being hurled upon the pre-schooler, but to my own children, especially my eldest.
Parenthood did not bring out the best in me. More like it unleashed a beast that was a culmination of legacies of poor parenting choices among ancestors on both sides. Noah was my knight who came to help me slay these demons: spanking, yelling, disrespect, teasing, taunting, bullying, harassing, doubting, giving-up-on, tormenting, grabbing, yanking, pushing, ad infinitum.
When I see someone spanking their child today I recoil with acridity. Yet, there was a time when I spanked Noah--frequently. Me! I can hardly believe it myself. The point is that I *know* that beast inside. Intimately. That is the beast of suffering and attachment. Rising up with bat wings through the smoke, not unlike the Yowee-Yahoo Vampire of Scooby-Doo!
The pain of hearing someone else attacking their child amplifies the aggression that I practice on my own children. I *still* count when I want them to do something. WHO DOES THAT TO ANOTHER PERSON? I only realized this *today* when I heard the neighbor counting to the kid. If I can shed all of this stuff by the time Noah grows up, perhaps I will achieve permanent enlightenment!
Micah and Ana-Bees are helping too, but Noah has a knack and is truly forging the way for his younger siblings. He's just so strong--he brings out the worst in me and I am forever grateful to him for it!! Bring it out! Hope I can leave more of it out. Shedding legacies of suffering is a laborious process!