Saturday, February 02, 2008

To my daughter

Dear Sarah,

I should be writing about Ruth right now, but I can't seem to focus on that right now. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon I'll be able to get back to the courtship series. Right now I just wanted to write to you. At first I wasn't even going to give you this letter, let alone put it on my blog. But mother-daughter tensions are probably as old as Eve and her daughters, and I'm going to guess there are lots of other moms and daughters out there who will relate to this letter. Especially if they are part of a big family.

Did you know that sometimes I am jealous of you? You get to go to people's houses and eat tacos and drink root beer. I get to stay home and eat chicken for the umpteenth time, only this time in the rocking chair because I'm so dizzy I can't hold my head up at the table. You actually enjoy hockey. I never really had the opportunity to even learn to skate well. You've been strong and healthy all this fall and winter. Oh, I know you've had headaches and your knees bother you, but you've still been able to go to church and other places while I've had to stay home either sick myself or with sick toddlers.

This morning I've been having a bit of a pity party for myself. That's wrong. I realized today that I am hard on you and the others because you can do stuff that I can't. Stuff I want to do myself. This may sound strange to you, but I want to scrub the tub, clean the refrigerator, mop the floors, move the furniture to sweep behind it, work in your room with your sisters, give the baths, do the laundry, change the diapers, even walk the dogs--yes, even Puppy. I want to cook all the meals, take care of John and Timmy, and a myriad of other things that I don't even bother to ask anyone to do for me. But I can't.

When you don't do things my way, I should be thankful that those things are done at all. I should rejoice that you are developing into a beautiful young woman capable of doing many things, and doing them well. Instead, I'm only reminded again that I can't do it myself.

So I confess my selfishness to you--because that's what it is--as sin. I still need your help around here. Yours and everybody else's. And there does have to be some kind of standard. But I won't be so picky about every little thing anymore. And I won't take out my frustrations on you by making mountains out of molehills.

Someday I won't be pregnant. Someday I won't be fat and my back won't hurt. I won't be dizzy, and all the congestion will be cleared out of my head and lungs. Hopefully that will be soon. I'll be able to run, ride my bike, build a snow fort, plant a better garden, even learn how to skate. I'll be able to help rip this house apart and make it beautiful inside and out. And I want to do all those things with you and your brothers and sisters.

Meanwhile, will you please forgive me? I love you.

Love,

Mom

10 comments:

zorg said...

oh yes, i forgive you. but only if you forgive me.

I was actually thinking of writing a letter to you, but i don't know. I'll have to think about that; moping at the church was very calming.

Cathy said...

Ha-ha!! I could pick on your spelling, which I haven't done in a while, but I understand that you were using a mop, not sitting around feeling sorry for yourself like I was.

And, yes, of course you're forgiven. And THANKS A WHOLE BUNCH for all the help you are to me.

Anonymous said...

I feel very, very sorry for Sarah as she is nothing but cheap help. You have more children than you can properly care for yet you continue to have more and probably won't quit until your body gives out or your ovaries finally shrivel up. Don't be surprised if Sarah does not marry and if she does, she opts to remain childless. She's done her time and frankly deserves more out of life. The bible never promotes selfishness yet you seem to be on an ego trip for continually having children. I hope you nor your parishioners EVER deride or complain about welfare and social programs.

zorg said...

ok, um wow. Well, I don't feel like cheap help, even though I may feel "burned out" sometimes.

And I cant wait to get married if thats what the Lord wants and when I get married I hope I have kids.

My mom is expecting a boy in April, and that will be so fun.

Anonymous said...

Great, another brainwashed litter member.

Cathy said...

Anonymous, I have allowed your comments to stand undeleted for two reasons. First, my daughter, with no prompting from me (believe it or not) expressed the desire to respond to you herself. I did not tell her what to write, and indeed did not even know what she planned to write until after her comment was posted. I anticipated your response to her, but did not tell her so. We are certainly not the first Christian conservative parents to be accused of brainwashing our children. I doubt we will be the last.

Second, you have expressed an opinion that is very common to our times. I'd like to explore that opinion in a later post.

However, I would like to give warning that anonymous posters are not taken as seriously as those who at least post some sort of nickname, and are more subject to deletion than those who identify themselves.

zorg said...

lol, I'm a brainwashed litter member? wow, thats funny.

My parents have trained me in the way they know is right, and until I was saved I was, I guess, copying them. But after I was saved I started to search the scriptures to see if it was right, to see if thats what I believed and that I wasn't just repeating what they said or whatever. I have spent time comparing what they say to what the bible says and much of what my parents have taught me I agree with.

There are things that I don't agree with though. I don't see a problem with woman wearing pants as long as they aren't really tight, thats my personal "conviction". My parents don't think that woman should wear pants, and that has been an issue between us for awhile. But they are still my parents and I am still under them so I do wear skirts. And sometimes I wear pants.

But seriously, I don't think I am brainwashed.

Joseph said...

If you want to talk about brainwashing come talk to me. instead of picking on women. That is not brainwashing that is teaching and being taught. Just like you make a bow its called making it taught. does that mean that its not made right? no. Its being made right. And parents Teaching there kids in the right way of Christ is not wrong. IT is the way God made it to be. That the parents be the head of the house. And if God is in the hearts of the parents then it even better for that family. Never should it be called making there choices for them. This is the way God made it to be. and that is how they are doing it.

Pru said...

The picture of the careful construction of a bow is a good one. Psa 127 speaks of our children as arrows. Our Biblical training is important so that they fly straight and true.

Cathy said...

Anonymous: I am no longer allowing any of your comments to stand. Mostly you don't even make sense, and it is a waste of my time to try to answer you.