We have had the blessing of many, many meals brought over after Joseph's birth, and I am so thankful for the love and care that went into each one of them. However, after four weeks my family is missing "Mom cooking," so I'm cooking a simple supper tonight -- burritos, with a side of rice and black beans. A great culinary experience it is not.
One by one, my children have come into the kitchen, bent their heads over the pots on the stove, and exclaimed, "Oh, this smells so good!" (Sean actually proclaimed it to be "heavenly"... God bless him!)
After they left I smiled as I stirred the food, and I thought:
"By virtue of my office, I dictate what home is for ten people."
I'm not a master chef, and yet the way *I* cook is the way my children think things are supposed to taste.
The way I fold clothes is the "proper" way to do it.
The atmosphere I create here forms what my family considers to be home.
What a privilege! To think that I, just mucking around doing my job, am somehow forming their lifelong perceptions of how things should be is stunning. I shouldn't be stunned, because after all these years, I am still trying to do things the way MY mom did them. No one can make roast beef and browned potatoes the way my mom does. Her meatloaf is the standard by which I judge all others. I set up my kitchen based on how she set up hers. I fold clothes the way she does.
It makes sense to me that I should emulate her, but it's mind-boggling to me when I realize that I've got eight little ones following ME, watching and learning.
It covers much more than simple homemaking, however. Many, many times I have caught a glimpse of my children watching me as I pray, or read the Bible, or participate in Mass. What are they seeing in me? What sorts of lifelong perceptions of God have they formed in their heads because of my actions?
May the Lord repair what I've done badly, and may He bless all the good that has been done in this family!