Let’s Not Tell Ourselves That None Of This Matters

Last week I saw a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of: The day after the election, your kids will still be your kids, your home will still be your home, the sun will still shine, and butterflies will still flit about fancifully.

Or something like that. I don’t remember who posted it, so I can’t find it to validate the accuracy of my impression. In any case, the meme was telling us, “Don’t worry; none of this matters anyway.”

To which my inner lobbyist was shouting, “No! This does matter! Elections have consequences! Governments do real things! And you have more power over them than you realize!”

I understand where the meme’s creator and the multitudes who share it are coming from. This election has shaken people. Ideologies are in flux, loyalties are shifting, and opinions that were once shushed are now voiced aloud. Some find the situation thrilling. Many find it disturbing.

For the latter camp, it’s tempting to treat this campaign, and indeed politics overall, as a television show that can be turned off. It’s a topic to be weeded out of a newsfeed, a fad to be ignored, something as disconnected from our real lives as Justin Bieber and the Kardashians.

Except it’s not.

The Space Between -- Let's Not Tell Ourselves That None Of This Matters

A Mother’s Power

Both of my boys are sick right now. It’s nothing awful, just a run-of-the-mill respiratory virus. Still, my two-year-old seems miserable. He looks up at me with those watery blue eyes, flushed cheeks, and wet nose, and I just about melt. I am putty in his clammy little hands.

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I’m not normally the putty-in-my-child’s-hands type. My home is so full of activity and noise and life, that I’m usually pretty well consumed with just handling it all. I rely on rules and strategies to get us through. But then things slow down and quiet down a bit, and I take the opportunity to really think on it. On these precious, unique little souls that occupy my home and my heart. On the wondrous, heavy responsibility I bear as their mother.

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When I was a child and feeling unwell, I remember thinking that my mother could just magically fix it. I don’t know, perhaps I thought she could pull an I Dream of Jeannie or something, but I was convinced that if I told her how sick I felt, she could and would make me well. Just like that.

It’s sobering to think that my own children now think the same of me. What power I must hold in their little minds. And what other, fundamental, weighty ideas I must represent to them.

I am my boys’ first model of womanhood, perhaps of beauty. I am their first model of love, of kindness. Their father and I form for them their first understanding of marriage and more basically, of how people interact with one another. I will be my boys’ frame of reference when it comes to contemplating what to look for in a wife and in a mother to their own children.

It’s all a little scary to think about.

It’s a lot to live up to.

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But I suppose all I can do is keep thinking about it. Keep praying about it. Keep checking myself, keep holding that wondrous, heavy responsibility in my mind and my heart. What else could one possibly do with something so important?