Last week my son discovered several papers he had done in kindergarten that I had put in the recycling bin. I guess I hadn't shoved them down far enough to hide them from him (please tell me I am not the only one and you don't keep every paper your child does in school...with 5 kids we would be drowning in paper!). He was ANGRY, he brought them to me, threw them down at my feet and yelled, "WHY DID YOU THROW THESE AWAY??? I DON'T DO JUNK WORK YOU KNOW!"
I had to stifle my laughter and tell him I was sorry and I appreciated his work. We set them aside and after he had forgotten about them they went in the BIG recycling trash can outside. Shhh...don't tell him. To defend myself, I do keep papers they have worked hard on, first time they write their name, special artwork they complete and especially if they write something about themselves that tells about an experience they've had etc....I'm not totally heartless.
The more I think about his exclamation of, "I DON"T DO JUNK WORK!" I realize how closely I can relate as a Mother. I too want to scream and stomp my feet when the laundry I have washed, dried and folded gets thrown on the bedroom floor to be walked on. I too have felt that same way when I JUST finished mopping the kitchen floor and somebody spilled an entire bottle of apple juice on it. How about the time I sorted through ALL the Legos (which at our house is THOUSANDS) only to have them all dumped on the floor by a boy who needed to find the teeny tiny lego light saber at the bottom of the bucket?
Yes many days I want to stomp my feet and scream at the top of my lungs too. It would be easy to do because it seems that no matter how hard I try my work often gets "trashed". It is only by having a deep conviction that what I am doing matters...and it matters in a long term perspective. I am not just doing laundry or mopping floors, I am molding human beings. I am showing them I love them and would do ANYTHING for them. I truly believe a Mother's love can overcome most obstacles in this life....or at least help our kids climb up and over them. So most of the time I control my urge to throw a tantrum and complain about my hard work meaning nothing...because it does mean something even if it only lasts for 5 minutes!
I AM A MOTHER AND I DON'T DO JUNK WORK!