Sometimes I'm really quiet for a long time, because I just can't think of anything to write, or writing what I want takes too much time/effort/thought when I finally get around to it. I like to think of all you readers waiting on the edges of your seats, but I actually hope that isn't the case because I sometimes have these long stretches of silence! I'm working on it. I am. I have a busy couple of weeks coming up here, but I promise I'll make this an interesting piece of internet space soon enough.
Phill was talking about a university that will give him credit for his military service. I think that makes perfect sense. But then I joked, "Oh! Do you think that they give credit for moms, too? Because, I mean, that's....that's a lot of experience, too...." Which started me thinking. Can you imagine a phone call like that?
"Hello, Rachel! This is Life University calling. We just took a look at our records and we'd like to give you some information regarding our school and the way your current education could be put to use here! Do you have a moment?"
"Not really. But I'm intrigued; go on."
"Well, the system goes something like this: Each year of your child's life counts as one school year. And each time they were incredibly sick and you held them and comforted them when you felt like falling over counts as one completed class. We also shave a little off the price of tuition for each time you have to buy food for your family, buy new shoes for each child, get hair cuts for each child, or have to make a doctors' visit co-pay. Furthermore, Mrs. DeVault, we award credit for each stretch mark, each pound gained during pregnancy, each hour of labor, and every time you woke up in the night to feed your baby. And if you were very sick with any of these pregnancies, we'd like to offer you a lifetime supply of gift cards from your favorite restaurant--the one you couldn't go to until you were all better."
What would I be?! Professor Parent? Doctor DeVault? Master Mama?
All of my joking is really leading up to what I'm trying to say, which isn't a joke at all: I am starting to see how progress works. Just a tiny bit at a time, we learn and we expand and our comfort zones enlarge....suddenly a few years have gone by and we're startled to realize that *GASP!* we have progressed!
Some of the things that used to seem so daunting to me now feel like a breeze. A lot of things that intimidated me I have overcome or at least can manage. Although I doubt myself and my strength more as a mother than I ever did, with those daily tests come daily confidence as I conquer. (And daily chances to improve my faith when I fall short.)
I'm not saying that I'm perfect or professional or that I have "arrived".....on the contrary, I am saying that we don't arrive! We learn. We inch along. We take little bites and find in time that we have eaten the whole.....enchilada? My sister told me (from something she read) that progress is meant to be gradual, and that we are wired for progress (Mommy Mantras, Abby? What was it?). That the brain can only handle so much at one time or we simply implode.
When I have an hour or two (or day, week, month) that feels overwhelming and crushing and I am full of thoughts of failure or needed improvement, it helps me to have a little perspective, and realize that all these experiences are good for me. Over a long period of time, I am learning, I am changing, and I pray that I am progressing. These experiences are all credits, and I am very slowly gaining an education.