I'm glad to have graduated to...well, Old Love. The kind that's comfortable in its own skin, the kind that is like my favorite part of one of my favorite books, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams:
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
I pray that, in this process of becoming Real to those I love, I would do a better job of having my sharp edges worn off and having my patience, along with my skin, grow thick. It's hard to have limitless patience some days as a mom and wife and friend and daughter and sister. Certainly and most objectionably, I tend to display the shortest fuse with those I love the most. On those days that are like another Van Morrison song I love, "Days Like This."
I need to do a better job of praying for a patient heart and mind and mouth with my babes and my husband. Because some days even when everything goes well, it will be a Day Like This, just like mama says.
This job description of mom and wife doesn't always come with daily doses of praise and accolades, nor glamor or glitz. It does come with days like this, so to speak.On these days, I find it so important to be prayerful and ask for the right heart and mind. Things can turn around quickly from Days Like This to, well, Tupelo Honey. But enough of Van Morrison.