What could be sweeter than the image of a mother and her daughter sitting down to tea? Nothing. Especially when the daughter is mine and she’s adorably two, chatty and charming. The tea set is tiny and the tea is really apple juice while the accompanying snack is a little bowl of popcorn. Come on. It’s too cute.
Now, what could be more tedious than a mother and her daughter sitting down for tea everyday, sometimes 2 times a day, sometimes 4? Nothing. Especially when the daughter is my cranky, demanding two-year-old. The tea set is tiny and therefore tips easily and is fumbled often while the snacks are teddy grahams or goldfish (again) that end up smashed to crumbs under the micro tea table I uncomfortably wedge my knees under, and end up all over the rest of the family room floor as well. Come on. Enough is enough.
Motherhood can be the crown of the most tedious state of being. And this is what continues to be really difficult for me. The monotony, the dullness, the routine, the tiresome tasks that never seem to end because if and when they do, they turn right around and beg to be redone, rewashed, re-cleaned, re-cooked, re-dressed…you get the point. I spoke to a mommy friend today and she confirmed that “on some days you can sit and enjoy the tedium and become one with it and on other days you just gotta get the hell out of the house.” Can I get an Amen?
Well, I have not fled from my house today and have been contemplating Mother Tedium; recognizing her presence in my life, acknowledging her, and doing my damnedest to embrace her. Although with a definition like “the quality or state of being wearisome” well, let’s just say she’s not that easy of an old gal to appreciate.
I am reminded of The Guest House by Rumi.
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever really invited Tedium in (I’m pretty sure I haven’t), but she’s come anyway. Perhaps if she felt a little more welcomed, she wouldn’t be so hard to live with.
Rest assured, the next time my daughter and I sit down to tea, I’ll be setting the table for three.