When I was in high school, I read a book called What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage.
Now if I’m being completely honest, I remember absolutely nothing about the theme, plot, or characters of the story. I couldn’t recommend it or advise against it. It was a mandatory high school reading. You know how that is.
But there’s one quote from the book that has stuck with me through the years since.
“What looks like crazy on an ordinary day looks a lot like love if you catch it in the moonlight.”
Now I know that I’m taking this quote completely out of context, but is this not a perfect description of motherhood?
We spend hours a day in the midst of crazy. We are run ragged by our littles sometimes, but most of the time it’s just the day to day crazy of loving and tending and feeding and correcting and nurturing and on and on until bedtime comes and we’re all worn out.
We give them baths. We brush their teeth. We tuck them under the covers and read them stories. We pray over them, sing them a song, and then leave them to sleep.
And then often, many hours later, we sneak in to check on them. We delight over their sleeping forms, kissing their foreheads and whispering quiet prayers over them. We smile at the old adage of how they are cutest when they are sleeping, because sometimes it is the truth.
I think this applies to an outsider’s perspective as well. If you looked in on a mother’s day, in the midst of the realness of all of it, you might just catch a glimpse of crazy. Okay, more than likely you’ll catch a glimpse of crazy. But when you see her, quietly tucking her children into bed and kissing them goodnight, or tending to their sickness in the wee hours of the morning, or rocking a newborn back to sleep, you’ll see so much love.
I don’t know about you, but often I feel like if someone were to catch a glimpse of me on any given day, they’d see the crazy. I’m the wild-eyed mom trying to hold it together as she answers the 100th question before 9AM. The frustrated mom who is cleaning up spills and toys, washing dishes and clothes. The mom dancing around in her pajamas with her boys, doing the meanest air-guitar you’ve ever seen.
Believe me, I know I look crazy.
But I hope they’d see the love too. When I sneak in their room oh-so quietly to kiss their sweaty, sleepy faces. When I rock one back to sleep, when I soothe a bad dream. When I wake them up and pull them in my bed so we can all watch the first snowfall.
This is when I am so thankful to God because He sees me in each and every moment. He sees me when I’m the wild-eyed mom and He sees me when I’m the weary mom. He sees the tender-hearted and the “she’s really lost it”. He seems my ordinary day, yet still sees me as extraordinary because I belong to Him, and when I’m awake in the night, He is with me.
Press on, mommas. What looks like crazy in your ordinary, mundane, clean-up-messes-and-wipe-noses day looks a lot like love when you’re hovering over your sweet ones in the dead of night. It looks like the love you have for them, but also the love of the One who made you, who made them and gave those little ones to you, just for you.