Thursday, July 5, 2012

humbled by lilies


Yet another night of mine has escaped, unnoticed and without bothering to leave a note.

This morning, when Lily finally fell asleep, I stumbled half-asleep into my kitchen to wash her bottles. 
Standing there, exhausted, aching for breakfast, and wondering just how much more I could possibly give, I scrubbed angrily at plastic nipples until the cracks in my dry hands began to hurt. I stopped, feeling defeated, and looked over at my tiny kitchen window to see raindrops sprinkling against it and a sole lily blooming amongst its wilting comrades. 

I congratulated the lily on making it this far. While others shriveled around it due to my negligence in hydrating them, this lily still decided to bloom. Then I got mad. What right did this damn lily have to bloom while its fellow stems were withering away? How dare that lily. What a narcissistic piece of greenery (pun intended). I was going to humble the crap out of that lily by slashing it with my shears. Just when I was about to abase that lily with my kitchen shears of humility, my Lily cried from the other room. The first thought in my head was, "just as I was in the middle of something important." I rushed to Lily's crib. There she was, red in the face and looking wildly around for me. As I picked her up, she laid her head on my shoulder and her cheek warmed mine. Her eyes closed again and her chubby hand held onto my pearl necklace. All she needed was me. All she needed was her mama. 

As I rocked her, I felt foolish. What could possibly be more important than this? This tiny person who falls asleep to the sound of my heartbeat, is comforted by my voice, and needs my warmth in the middle of the night. I cried then, my tears finding their way to Lily's cheek, and realized that it was I, not that blooming bud that truly needed to be humbled this morning.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble."
-Helen Keller
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