Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
There are many emotions that fall between happy and crying. Most of our days are spent somewhere between the two, in the ordinary routine of life. That is where most of life is lived. And that is where I have found myself in the last year with a group of young moms in my community. Certainly crying together over the sad times and celebrating together the happy times, but it seems we have formed great friendships in sharing the routine everyday life of a mother that many times is neither happy nor is it sad. It just is.
This week I find myself an ocean away from my home spending time with friends in Ghana, West Africa. This week is different and yet it is the same. I sat next to my friend Olivia a beautiful young woman from Ghana whom I first met when she was engaged to be married. Now 4 years later she is a wife, school teacher and mother of a 2-year-old. It is where many of my new friends at home live, in the beginning stage of understanding what life as a mother can be.
As we talked for hours about nursing, naps, toilet training woes, sleepless nights, the demands of home and work, personal time and the dreams we had of ourselves that we now find buried amidst all the demands of motherhood the world seemed like a very small place. More similar than different. She is living many of her days in the routine, the day that just is, wondering how to still see those dreams for herself fulfilled. My visit was an encouragement to her. Maybe it brings hope that there is life to be lived when our children are older. Perhaps it is in the camaraderie of hearing stories that are familiar the world over. And it might just be that I was not weeping with her nor was I happy with her, but I was sharing the mundane routine “just is” with her as well.
I find these young woman at home and here so very far away. I don’t think it’s that I am some great mom expert. It’s that they are just starting and I am years on down the road, willing to sit down with them in the ordinary days and remind them how normal it is, how they will survive and just how extraordinary being a mom is.