I’ve been thinking this morning about the internet. In my lifetime there has been a fundamental shift, similar to the shift from farms and fields to cities. This fundamental shift is a change in interpersonal relationships. The internet has changed how we see ourselves, how we see others and how we see time. We are constantly bombarded with words and images. We can with a click or two find the greatness. We can see amazing performances from long ago …just the part we like, skipping the ticket buying, the waiting in line, the waiting for the lights to dim, the watching of the whole performance…skipping to that one song, or play or piece. We can see thousands of different homemade items..all better than our own efforts. We can see all varieties of people’s best efforts…in seconds. We watch tv and people make miraculous changes in 30 minutes time.
Motherhood doesn’t fit that so well. We read the same book over and over and over and over and over again. We go on wanders following snails or worms…noticing leaves and flowers and butterflies. Bubbles are fascinating. Whole hours spent sitting and snuggling. It takes longer for me to change a baby’s diaper, clothes and nurse them than it takes for murder mysteries to be solved.
I can wash the dishes and clean the kitchen or I can see the best, newest hottest talking dog on youtube, read the latest greatest thing, see the cinderella princess photoshop thing, bid on ebay and give my opinion in the comments section of an article the author spent a lifetime researching. Surely *I* know enough after my 5 minute perusal to set them straight.
Virtual hugs and likes and offers of undying affection in facebook statuses take seconds. Compare that to cleaning up after a potty training child with patience and love.
It takes longer for me to do my family’s laundry for the week than it takes for Frodo to get rid of the ring and overthrow all of Mordor.
It’s hard not to be distracted. It’s hard not to think there is something better I could do with my time, or more important or more worthwhile. It’s difficult not to think it should be easy and quick and frankly…all done already. Why oh why me?
Goodness every Sunday night we can see how a house can be built in a week…an amazing house perfectly suited for some needy family.
I am going to have to start reminding myself more frequently “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass”. Kissing owies, making dinner, cleaning messes…small things. Small things worth doing.
Motherhood is in the trenches. It’s messy and physically demanding and in your face and wonderful and it takes time…there is NOTHING virtual about it.
It occurs to me that values cannot be formed without this messy, daily interaction. This is why families are so important. Love cannnot be developed virutally or before the commercial break. Patience, hardwork, courage…these are not inspired by a virutal reality.