I have a confession to make. All of my childhood and most of my adult life so far I have believed a complete and utter falsehood. It was not until the ripe old age of 25 that I realized I was believing in a lie. What is this you may ask? I am embarrassed to say. But-- here it is. I honestly used to think that my Mother never worked when I was growing up. I know, I know. Of course she worked! But it took me becoming a Mother myself, at the age of 25, for me to figure this out. Here is what led to this misconception.
There were 4 girls in my family. Chores were divided up between us. (My brother was supposed to do the outside chores. Just picture a 10 year old boy zipping around on a riding lawn mower at 20 miles per hour, and you KNOW how much work he got done.) Anyway, all inside chores were divided up amongst us girls. I did the laundry for the family. Anna and Ria did the bathrooms and the kitchen. One time they switched and then one wouldn't let the other switch back or something. It was a very touchy situation. Grace did... well... I am not sure what she did. Oh, I think she fed various animals- dogs, cats, sheep, horses, etc. Or did she empty trash cans? I don't know but I am sure she was doing something in between climbing trees. Anyway- I can remember thinking, "My Mom has got it made. She doesn't have to do ANYTHING around here." Or- "Geesh! If Mom would just pitch in we could get this work done in a jiffy." Or- "I hope I have a house full of daughters someday so I don't have to work!" I remember wondering what she did w/ her leisure time. I would picture her sitting in her room reading a magazine and eating chocolate while we girls worked the day away. Ha! As a Mother, I now know this was just not the case.
During Lent, Lisa's Faith Formation class has been raising money for the poor. On the first Sunday of Lent she emptied her piggy bank. She has asked for money every Sunday since. I was not just going to give her money though. I told her she could do some extra hard chores around the house to earn the money. The main thing I have her doing is scrubbing the floors. I just give her warm water and a dish cloth. I taught her how to do it and she does pretty well. She enjoys it actually. She sings and we talk while I am nearby. It dawned on me today as she was mopping- I still had a ton of work to do!!! Sure, it is nice to not have to mop now BUT I can by no means sit down and eat Bon-Bons. I then thought about my Mother. What on Earth was she doing when I thought she was relaxing? Probably one of the million other things she had to do!
I looked at Lisa scrubbing tonight and thought- "Even if I had to re-scrub these floors it is worth it to have her learning this. This is good for her." And then something else dawned on me- My Mother probably thought all those chores were good for us! Gasp! I am still laughing just thinking about it. She probably wanted us to work b/c it was teaching us something of value. It has taken me 30 years to figure all this out!
Wow Mom. You got me. Sorry about thinking you never worked. Sorry if I complained too much. (I am sure I did.) I guess you can say what goes around, comes around! Love you. Peace.