My 8 Candles
Last week I placed 7 number birthday candles in front of the cashier at the supermarket.
A 1 candle.
A 5 candle.
Another 1 candle.
A 3 candle.
Yet another 1 candle.
A 0 candle.
And an 8 candle.
As the cashier scanned the candles’ barcode, I told her, “4 of my children were born this month. They are turning 15, 13, 10, and 8.”
“How wonderful!” she smiled, and I smiled back, counting my blessings in that pile of candles.
Around 10 years ago, I was feeling overwhelmed by my 4 girls under the age of 8, and my messy house, and my postpartum anxiety, and my feeling that this motherhood thing was just way too much for me.
Somebody recommended a homeopath to help me feel less anxious, and she helped me a lot, for several years.
Until one day she told me that I shouldn’t have any more children. She had had 4 kids. And that was enough for me too.
“I love my children so much, and I feel like I could have more. It would be so sad for me to give up the opportunity to meet more of my children I could love,” I protested.
And then she reminded me, “Before when you were talking, you mentioned the mess your children make…Tell me about the mess. How does that mess make you feel?”
And I did talk about the mess, and I felt overwhelmed, like I was drowning in a whirlpool of oatmeal-crusted dresses and black-footed white tights and left-over peanut-buttery sandwich crusts sent back from gan.
And I left the homeopath’s office convinced. Four was enough. Because enough is enough!
And today I can’t remember what happened next… how exactly I changed my mind and changed homeopaths.
And welcomed 3 little boys and a Tsoofy to join the Weisberg family.
But that’s what happened.
I don’t blame the homeopath. If I had been sitting on her side of the desk, I quite possibly would have been thinking the exact same thing.
But as the years pass, and my children and my family grow, I feel so differently than I did when I sat there in that homeopath’s office so many years ago.
Truth is I still often feel like I’m drowning in a sea of oatmeal-crusted dresses and black-footed white tights and left-over peanut-buttery sandwich crusts sent back from gan.
But when I feel the waves pulling me under, I see all these brightly-shining candles…
The 1, and the 7, and the 1, and the 5, and the 1, and the 3, and the 1, and the 0, and the 7, and the 4, and the 2, and the 4 (months).
All of them, like 8 light houses, lighting up my life and lighting my way, guiding me safely back to shore.