Red Dirt Mothering

A dusty girl is carrying a red bucket past my window. She’s going on a journey, by rowboat, I think, to visit her cousins in Canada. It’s across the ocean, but not to worry- she’s an expert sandbox sailor. Her little sister sleeps inside, a dishevelled wisp of a thing, dreaming of baby dolls and puppies, no doubt. These are my ragamuffin angels, growing up under acacia trees and ibises, learning about life in the surreal bubble of a missionary compound on the edge of Nairobi. And I am their mother. Their adoring, exhausted, bumbling, struggling and much of the time, laughing mother. At the moment that’s my main identity. In my other life I was a high school English teacher, but for now and the foreseeable future, I’m just mothering. Well, and wife-ing, and occasionally writing, and drinking lattes whenever possible. But mothering seems to take up the vast majority of my time and thoughts and energy. More energy than I have much of the time, actually. A lot more energy than teaching high school did, as ludicrous as that would’ve sounded to teacher-me.
But there is a beauty to the exhaustion. A significance to the sandbox moments. A holiness to all this red dirt that stains little feet and my white sheets and the cracks in my heart. This is my journey in red dirt mothering.

Leave a Reply