love from my momastery
Children are stressful; everyone says so: overwhelming, a strain on marriage, a tax on life and personal freedom. You could say it and not be wrong.
But children above all are a brilliant chance. I say there is no pristine mountaintop monastery better-suited to disciplining the mind, refining the spirit, clarifying a marriage, chiding misguided attempts to “accomplish” and “sleep,” breaking bad habits, and ceaselessly goading riotous celebration of simple existence. How many people long for a spiritual teacher (always described as “childlike,” have you noticed?) to work with them tirelessly?
It is impossible to describe parenthood to the uninitiated. That’s why you hear, over and over, the same simple phrases: “it’s hard,” “it changes everything,” “totally worth it,” and “you’ll never sleep again.”
Parenthood is a long, long, long line to take a long, long, long elevator ride to something truly spectacular that you’ve waited all your life to see.
It is the week before your thesis is due, but somehow you are in the monkey cage at the zoo just before feeding time.
A life-defining seminar held by those wise ones you most admire accompanied by your favorite companions.
Also, often not unlike trying to hold an important conversation in a very noisy club.
Most of all, it is the gorgeous simplicity of watching and waiting, waiting patiently, through sweltering midday and endless mosquito-thrumming afternoon, watching the sun set and the stars sprinkle out, fighting to keep eyelids propped open all night, shivering, until the clouds imperceptibly lighten and the sun finally rises once more — the gorgeous simplicity of seeing something simultaneously grow and stay the same.
In other words, so so hard, so so worth it, and so so very indescribably beautiful.
To those who are mothers and those who are pregnant, those who wish to become mothers, and those who are amazing, incredibly strong mothers to children no longer here. To the fathers who love as ferociously, as gently, as any mother; to the parents and siblings and aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends who carry us along; and to anyone who has or had a mother who was or was not everything they could ever have hoped for. Beyond the flowers and cards and too much mimosa, let this day of mothers soothe and nourish you like a good mother should.