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The Greatest Job in the World
I have what some might call a fancy education. I took six years to get a four-year degree, and also married and had my first child during that time. In the months leading up to graduation, friends, family, and professors asked what I planned to do with my education. I realized, however, that more than any job, I wanted another baby. Ten months after graduation I gave birth to my second son and never looked back.

While my education helped prepare me for eventually schooling my own children, I never imagined the joys and the heartache--the gamut of emotions from sheer terror to pure bliss--inherent in the greatest job in the world. Today, just an average day, I experienced several of those moments that define motherhood.



Every mother who has had both a toddler and a set of stairs knows that awful sound: the thud, followed by wailing. I heard it today and I ran across the house, scared of what I would find. Lily was lying at the bottom of the stairs, scared and hurt. I sat and held her until she stopped crying, while she marked my black shirt with iridescent trails of mucous, a visible badge of motherhood. Then she snuggled in close and popped her little thumb in her mouth, content. I know it won't always be so, but I was blessed with a moment when I was all she needed to make everything better.



Sabra, my 10-year-old daughter, had Keepers at Home today. Sabra loves Keepers, and I'm excited she has the opportunity to learn many skills that I do not possess. I try to learn along with her, but it's interesting sometimes. Rather than a domestic goddess, Keepers at Home seems to transform me into a domestic doofus.

Today was no different as we worked on our current project, sewing a tiered skirt. I was helping Sabra at my painfully slow pace while the other mothers and daughters seemed to fly through the steps. Then it hit me: Sabra doesn't seem to notice or care that I'm not as skilled as many of the other moms. She looks at me with the adoring eyes of a daughter toward her mother, confident that I can guide her. The blind devotion of a child is truly a sacred trust, and I was humbled and honored by it.



After a long afternoon of Keepers and band lessons, we headed for Moe's, where on Tuesday nights we can pay for 3 adults (hubby and I plus 15-year-old son) and feed the 6 that are 12-and-under for free. The kids always want quarters for the machines. My husband told me that our 5-year-old son, Clayton, had gotten a heart ring for his prize. When asked if he was going to give it to me for Valentine's Day, Clayton had said, "Maybe, or maybe Miss Fran." Miss Fran is our dear friend who is truly a Pied Piper. Our children adore her and I've told her that even when hers are grown and gone, my younger ones will still want to spend the night at her house.

While we ate, I noticed two ladies seated close to us who seemed to observe our clan. This is not uncommon for us; that many kids attract attention. I'm not a mind-reader, but it's obvious a lot of people don't understand why anyone would have such a large family, and their attitude is not always kind. As they left, one of the ladies leaned down and spoke in my ear: "Your family is adorable. Simply precious!" I'm sure I will never see her again, but her words will not soon be forgotten. As we were leaving, Clayton smiled his heart-melting smile, one any mother of a young son knows, and said, "Happy Valentine's Day," as he placed the ring in my hand.



When I read Proverbs 31, describing that seemingly unattainable model of female perfection, the verse that always jumps out at me is #28: "Her children arise up, and call her blessed..." That's the one I want--the one I can't attain on my own, the one that has to be given to me, undeserving though I am (much like salvation). Today I was beheld as comforter; teacher; object of blind faith, love, and affection. Though I seek to bless my children's precious lives, the truth is that they bless me immeasurably. I thank God for entrusting us with their care and putting the desire within me for motherhood, the greatest job in the world.


This post has been submitted for consideration in the Write-Away contest for February.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Christi said...

Aww....this post touched my heart. Thanks.

Blogger Crew Mom said...

I started my morning sobbing to this post. I so know what you mean...those moments are what I live for...like at the funeral, it was said that life is about the "moments not the minutes"...exactly! Your family IS so precious, I love you all!!

Blogger Randi said...

I LOVE this post! It brought some tears to my eyes.

The joys of motherhood are so simple and so mundane sometimes, but if we really look, they are everywhere. Thanks for the reminder to "look" closely for my blessings today!

Blogger Trina said...

Dawn that was wonderful. You and your family hold a special place in my heart.

Blogger Mama Lily said...

Dawn this is so beautiful. A loving glimpse inside motherhood. So many times we overlook those "moments" in our rush to accomplish our chores. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and see those moments for what they truly are!

Blogger Melanie said...

Lovely-

Many people think that we "waste" our education by staying home with our kids. I fell into this trap myself, then realized I am just better trained for motherhood. :>)

This is one of your best!

Blogger Doris said...

WOW! I'm thankful I too chose the greatest job in the world.

Blogger Shane said...

You are such a talented writer. This was an amazingly beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us.

Blogger amber said...

Thank you for that, Dawn. Like some of the other commenters, I was touched by your words and find myself wiping my eyes. I needed those words this week. Thanks! You are a blessing to so many of us.

Blogger Carol said...

Woah. You are indeed blessed. Thank you for this glimpse into your way adorable family!

Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Oh I loved reading this. Thank you for sharing each story.

Blogger Belle-ah said...

As the friend to several "larger than the so-called-typical 1.5 children" families I have seen that people can be insensitive to say the least...but God has blessed you LARGELY! We even get weird comments and reactions from our own families...and we only have 3 (we both come from "2 at most" families)! But I feel blessed to belong to a church with tons of big, happy families.

Oh, I am off track...I loved your post and it is a good reminder for me to embrace the daily blessings that come my way.

Blogger Pam in Colorado said...

...and call her blessed. May I be worthy to be so addressed. I'm a work in progress. I NEED more progress. Thankfully the Lord doesn't give up on me!

Blogger Barb said...

What a beautiful post. You completely captured some of the very best feelings about being a mom. Of course he gave you the heart ring - you deserve it. :-)

Hope you're feeling better.

Blogger Elise said...

What a beautiful post!
I love all of the lovely word-pictures you painted; I can see them as vividly as if I were living them. Except I am!
And Sabra - what a gorgeous name - I long to have that kind of relationship with my daughter when she's older. You are doing a wonderful job with this gift called motherhood!

Blogger mommy to four j's said...

What a touching post. The truth is that I have been struggling with motherhood. The blessings right now seem far and to in between. I have wonderful children ages 9 10 4 and 2 and one comming in July. Thaks for the reminder of how precious my children are have a g reat weekend char

Blogger Erica said...

Congratulations this post has been nominated for a Hot Stuff Award at GNMParents.

Good luck, voting closes on Thursday.

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