Lately, at the end of the day, I find piles of fabric stacked on my desk, a project ready to complete, jars of buttons, zippers, and spools of thread, a stack of dishes drying on the stove, because we have zero counter space, toys tucked into their evening spaces, floors swept a bazillion times. The tea kettle whistles for tea and I sneak outside to steal the last moments of the sun dipping below the tall, strong trees, painting the grass with a golden tint on green. A sketchbook or novel in my hand, because I can’t get enough of reading this year, stories, I love the stories. At the end of this set of hours, I have given my all, used all my creative energy, all of my tolerance for messes and noises and whining.
Countless things happen in the hours of a day, full of living and doing and caring and cleaning. Trying to be a patient mother and a thoughtful wife and an artist, always, or as much as I can. Whoa, life, huh?
Last week, I thought of those forms where you check your occupation, where your entire raison d’etre (purpose and meaning) is supposed to be shoved into a tiny, trivial box. Somewhere at the bottom, you might find homemaker, dull and uninteresting, an after thought. The form tries to make it sound like a less than ideal choice, jesting with a sneer, too bad you’re not any of those other super successful important things, you’re just a homemaker.
Silly form, the trick is on you.
I mean, HOME-MAKER, maker of homes, makers of days and lives and families and childhoods and memories and comfort and food and and romance (bonus) and beauty and care and dreams and fun and knowledge and laughter and discipline and cookies and paper cutout animals and dances and love notes and lunches and clean socks and silly songs and clever tricks and and and and love. (consider this paragraph in revolt against the comma.)
The thing is, homemaker is awesome sauce. Homemaker is no joke, it’s powerful and huge and sometimes unnoticed, but wildly important.
At this point, I am sure you are on your feet ready to chant, HOMEMAKER! HOMEMAKER! HOMEMAKER!, Alas, hush, the kids are sleeping and silence is a time of magic not to be interrupted, so quiet down already.
You know that scene in Mary Poppins where Mrs. Banks is preparing to attend her votes of women rally and throw eggs at the prime minister’s house, that’s the kind of excitement I’m talking about here.
People, you makers of home, a home for your family, the family that you love, love that will impact the future and today and right now and clean underwear for all mankind.
You are amazing. Go forth and make.
It’s really a way of creativity, this homemaking, but you knew I would say that.
Also, remember this…
Frank Navasky: Kathleen, you are a lone reed. You are a lone...
[sits down at his typewriter]
Frank Navasky: [typing] "... reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce."
[pulls the page out and hands it to Kathleen]
Kathleen Kelly: I am a lone reed.
Frank Navasky: Lone reed.