Saturday, October 15, 2011

Being a Mummy

Jake and Emmie 2009

Being someone's mummy is scary stuff!
(I have forty-one years of experience.)

I was recently asked for my best advice on Motherhood.
It's in an essay I wrote years ago called—

Colonial woman dipping candles.

Wax Strong

Into the hot wax; out of the hot wax. Into the hot wax; out of the hot wax. I watched as the woman dipped her candles. She held a dowel with ten pieces of string looped over it, and repeatedly lowered it into a vat of melted wax.


The first time it looked like nothing stuck to the strings at all. Another dip, and they still looked clean. Patiently, the woman dunked them again, and again, and eventually I could see a film of wax building. Time after time the thin layers adhered to each other, and slowly the strings began to look like candles.

After countless dips.

I've watched other women engaged in an old-fashioned art that also involves patience and repetition. It is mothering. Time after time they dip their kids in character building experiences—"Say Please," "Thank you," "I'm sorry;" share your toys; pick up your coat; mind your dad; love your brother; don't whine; feed the dog; say your prayers—over and over again, the same admonitions. At first it seems nothing is sticking. The kids are still the same. But eventually they begin to wax strong.

A work of art!

Each experience a child has in character building is like one more dip of the candle.
It is repetitious, it can become wearisome.
But it's worth it.

Art by William Adolphe Bouguereau

"Be not weary in well doing,
for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.
For out of small things proceedeth that which is great."
---D&C 64:33

It's a good season for Mummies.
Treat yourself!


Judy (kenju) said...

You are so right.

Someimes I marvel at the instances where I see that my children DID learn most of what I was trying to teach them, and now they are passing that learning on to their children. Makes one proud and so gratified!

diane said...

I love that piece. I thnk I could be a good mom now that all my kids are grown.However,parenting adult children is a new ballgame. I don't know what I'm doing most of the time...too much, too little. I guess I'll just focus on being a new Grandma. The best job ever.

Kay Swatkowski said...

I've been trying to find a place to leave a general comment. I spend a lot of time looking at "grandmother" blogs! I love your blog. I love the art work--quotes--thoughts. You are so creative. May I ask the origin of the quote "Reaching is the best cure (or was it antidote) for loneliness.:
Thanks so much for your lovely blog.

Susan Adcox said...

Excellent analogy. So many of the things that are worth doing require lots of practice and patience before you begin to see results.