Is There Life After "Mommy"?
As a devout members of the LDS faith (and yes, that makes me a Christian too) I am repeatedly exposed to...well, let's face it...cheesy music.
Music can be very powerful and moving and spiritually fulfilling. It is by far the most effective way the Spirit speaks to me. But when it comes to the majority of contemporary christian/LDS music...I can't help but cringe. It is so sticky sweet and predictable and just downright weird. (Are we praising God or making out with him?)
I'm sure the people who write and perform these songs have the best intentions. They are trying to express their testimonies and love of God and the Savior through music. My hat is off to them for even trying. I mean, really, how critical can I be? Have I ever written anything that remotely resembles music much less something that others find worthy of being broadcasted and performed publicly.
Still, I'd rather not listen to most of it.
For all my contempt for church music, there is one particular person who in my opinion has found the perfect balance between sweet and spiritual.
Janice Kapp Perry.
The other day my husband and I happened upon a television program about her. I had no idea how many of my favorite church songs could be attributed to her. She has written dozens of primary songs, hymns, and other musical arrangements that have become part of the LDS culture and faith.
And here is the kicker: She didn't even start until she was 40 years old! This is when she received her "two lucky breaks": a broken ankle and a broken television set. Before this she had been busy raising children and playing sports.
Hearing that someone like Janice Kapp Perry didn't even find her groove until she was 40 gives me a lot of hope. Sometimes I feel like I have lost myself in motherhood. I can't help but wonder who Evelyn is anymore? Don't get me wrong. I love being a mother. I really do. There's nothing more important and precious to me than raising these four children right now. But what happens when they grow up and leave, as I hope they will someday. And not because I want to be rid of them, but because I hope I did my job right and they are wonderful, capable people who are busy doing good things. Good things like making chubby little grandbabies for me to smooch.
I will always be a mom, but I won't always be busy wiping bums, cleaning up messes, and reading board books. Motherhood can be so dirty and grimy and tiring and micro-focused sometimes that it blinds me to life before or beyond it. I am more than mom...I think. I used to be at least and I have hope that someday I will be again.
I don't know what things I will accomplish beyond being a mom, but after learning that someone who has successfully spoken to my spirit through music didn't even start until after they had done their time potty training, helping with homework, and breaking up sibling brawls gives me the courage to go ahead and plan on accomplishing something monumental after I build the foundations of these little monuments-in-the-making here.
It's always nice to have a little hope on your side.