It is summertime. I did not set an agenda today. The kids played. I cleaned, a little. Andrew played the piano; we listened. I vacuumed, the kids dusted. They asked me to read, we finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We imagined meeting Mr. Wonka. They fought. They practiced making-up, again. We played in the backyard. The kids watered the raspberries and picked the only three red juicy ones. They ran to me and showed me their harvest. Andrew carefully washed them with the hose. He saved one for George, who was napping. Later, he ate it for him. We played in the front yard. I got to pretend to be the baby this time. I took a nap under the tree. Gladys tucked me in, then joined me. A minute later, Andrew was there too, lying under the tree. There we were, three people lying under the tree in the front yard. Cars drove by. They must have been going somewhere; doing something.
We didn't. We did nothing.
I was lying there with my children thinking about motherhood. I am a well-educated person. I have never seen a study that shows any specific positive result derived from lying under a tree with your children. I have never seen it. I wondered if I made more of an impact today on my world than the soul who drove by. Can you study that? What is the net present value of a woman lying in the grass with her children?
I have found recently I can tell better by what things are not, than what they are. The value of motherhood is not in this one particular day. The value is in the fact that today was not particularly special.
I wondered if 60 years from now my children will be having dinner together. They will remember the harvest.
"Remember all those raspberries?"
"Oh, yeah, they were so sweet!"
"I wonder why Mom never made jam . . . " Will they say that?
As mothers, we think we need to make jam out of three raspberries. The children know how to just eat them and remember their sweetness.