“Because being a homemaker isn’t about being extraordinary. It’s about seeing the ordinary in a conscious way. A way that leads to gratitude, joy and understanding. A way that allows me to create an environment in which my family can become more human everyday. If you are moved, I invite you to share your ordinary things by replying below or leaving a link.”
After Las Vegas, I turned away. I stayed off Facebook. Unplugged the radio. Tried not to talk about it. I’d like to say that I was protecting myself and my family from carrying it around in our imaginations, and perhaps I partly was, but mostly, I was filled with powerlessness. What is the point of paying attention, of opening yourself up to all of that collective pain, if you can’t do anything about it?
As the days passed I kept telling myself that powerlessness is a feeling, not a reality. I cannot single handedly change gun laws over night, but I can take my kids to hunter safety class. I can teach them the respect of handling a bow and arrow; the powerful finality of a gunshot. I cannot rid my children’s world of door buzzers and 6ft fences and lock down drills, but I can teach them that the more walls we erect, hiding from other and different and what-ifs, the more we perpetuate the cycle of isolation, fear and violence. I can show them that courage, human connection and devotion to peaceful interaction are the only true weapons we have against fear, isolation and violence.
Because, as a homemaker, I’m in it for the long haul. The steady, small and unnoticed work of creating an example for my family of what is most human. Praying that this world will not destroy them before they are powerful enough to change it.
Undoubtedly, the most difficult task of the homemaker is being the family’s source of goodness. Yes, we are imperfect, we are propped up by spouses or grandparents or best friends. But at the end of the day, when everyone returns to the hearth circle licking their wounds, deep down they depend on us to be the healing balm. It is a burden, but it is also a gift: we can never sink into the paralysis of powerlessness for more than a few moments. We have no choice but to seek out our own balm. Summon our own courage. Forge our own strength. For them.
In search of something to keep me going, I pulled out my stationary and began writing to a very dear friend, with whom I have fallen out of touch. I did not write about Las Vegas. What I did write was my self into that brief hand written note, knowing that she would read it, carrying a piece of my heart with her throughout the day. Weaving our friendship deeply into the fabric of a world fraught with separateness. Knowing that this connection could balance the scales of humanity in some grain-of-sand-way. Hoping that it will all add up to enough.