Job # 3: Final Authority

Final Authority: (This is one job that must be enjoyed while it is in play because it can disappear overnight.)  My children ask me the most random, interesting, perceptive questions and somehow because I own the car keys, I am supposed to know the answers.   “Why are the cousins late?” “Why makes blue?” “Why did that bee sting me?”  “What would happen to water in space?” “Why did the germs attack me?” “What is a vaccine?” “What if our eyes could pop out?”  “Why is my doll falling apart?”  “Why did they put gravel down before they paved?” “What is high fructose corn syrup?” ” Where do army ants live?”  “Why did someone use my deodorant?”  You know the questions-they come in rapid succession and can quickly and efficiently expose our ignorance!  But we are the Final Authority so if the lightning is striking because the Gods are angry- so be it.  My son, Gabriel, is particularly interested in my opinion on every subject and situation and in his eyes I am absolutely the last say.  It’s quite powerful. But, let’s be honest, this can be exhausting. We are expected to be at once fortune tellers, doctors, physicists, electrical, mechanical, civil, aeronautical and process engineers, horticulturists, chefs, seamstresses, authors, chemists, psychologists, nutritionists, social behaviorists, outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists, detectives, scriptorians, political scientists,  lawyers, IT experts, a telescope, a microscope and a hidden camera  and if we are not, then we look stupid and that cannot happen. So sometimes we make up answers because the children are counting on us to know everything. And if by some surprise we do know the answer we might be trapped into an hour’s worth of explanations.  We thought we were becoming moms- but really we were becoming the Final Authority on every conceivable topic.  The problem is this may have been attainable in DaVinci’s day, but it’s absolutely impossible to know everything anymore.  The specialization of knowledge has pretty much wiped out any opportunity to be a one-stop-know-it-all shop.  But, nobody told the kids.  So, we forge onward with the only weapon in our ignorance arsenal that has any capacity to help us- the internet.  And actually, this is a big deal since we can now look things up on the fly and therefore still give authoritative answers to all of the insistent questions about everything that we know nothing about and thus maintaining our status as the Final Authority.  (Until the kids  hit puberty, of course, and then they want to know why we don’t understand anything!) This job is not as spiritually or physically taxing as some of the other surprise sub-jobs of motherhood; but it can be emotionally taxing when you are constantly reminded of all of the holes in your own education-especially since you no longer have time to fill in those holes!  Ah, the ironies of motherhood. I must say, at the conclusion of this little series, that even with all of its inconveniences, subplots, intrigues, and exhausting demands, there is nothing this world can offer me that compares even a smidgen to being a wife and a mother. My soul is at home in my imperfect home and I feel God’s peace when we are gathered there together. I know that this feeling of peace emanates from my Savior who has elevated the jobs and sub-jobs of motherhood to divine status and holy calling.  So, I may tease about some of these things, or make light of their place in my life, but I would willingly take on any job that God needs me to do for my husband or children-any job.  Except extra laundry-I’m pretty maxed out there.

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