By Kate Kole
A couple weeks ago, I had a “I’m super pregnant and all I want is a vegetarian sloppy joe” craving. I mentioned it to my mom on the phone and without pausing, she said, “I’ll go to the store in the morning and make them for dinner tomorrow night”. She came over with bags full the following afternoon and went to work in our kitchen.
That sandwich paired with kettle cooked potato chips was the best meal I’ve had in months. And it wasn’t just because she made what I’d so desperately been wanting, it was because of the way that she jumped at the opportunity to do something she knew would bring me joy.
The same way my girlfriend shipped me cookies from her favorite shop in the first trimester when little else sounded good, or my sister sent new maternity clothes “just because”, or my husband filled up my gas tank so I wouldn’t have to the next time I was out.
Sometimes I feel like my purpose is small in this season of life. Comprised of small tasks, small toys, small errands. I’m easily convinced that the biggest difference I make is in blending my son’s smoothie in the morning, doing laundry during afternoon nap time, and cleaning up before bed.
Perhaps part of me feels that way because the work isn’t always glamorous or particularly fulfilling. It’s done with my hair messily tossed into a scrunchie and yesterday’s mascara faded underneath my eyes.
In truth, it just usually doesn’t feel all that important in the moment. It seems instead like its significance could vanish as quickly as the peanut butter I wipe from my toddler’s high chair.
But then I think about the way my mom would take me to Sam’s Club after a hard day in middle school because she knew that wholesale stores with free samples and cereal aisles that went on forever strangely sparked happiness within me. Or how my dad would spend hours in the driveway playing basketball with us after he got done working. Or when my brother came home from college so he could see me before my freshman homecoming dance.
At once I’m reminded of Mother Teresa’s guiding wisdom, to “do small things with great love.”
Today I will love my people in the best way I know how. Simply and completely. I’ll fill their bellies with waffles and play with blocks on the floor. I’ll re-read books, listen to stories, do wooden animal puzzles, and pick up the things they need from the store.
And someday, if I’m lucky, the family we’ve created will have the same sort of memories that I do. The kind that feel plain and forgettable as they happen but remain forefront in our hearts years later. The ones that remind us what it looks like and feels like to live from a place of love.
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