Grapes in hands

The Spirit of the Gift

I am a Mom, and though I understand that many women choose to have no children, (my own choice actually until I moved to family-centric Greece at the age of 23) I have to proclaim that having children makes the craziness of life on planet Earth make sense to me.

Why? On the one hand, children are a messy intrusion into our early years, a time when having fun seems to be the main pre-occupation. I myself was unprepared for the degree of 24/7 involvement that children required. This was probably because I was primarily occupied with having fun, and pregnancy, birth, and infants are not the ideal fun partners. Luckily for me, there was oxytocin, and I became a mother, and my life turned 180, in so many ways.

I think about the love I feel for my children and a wash of happiness overcomes me, a real natural high that alcohol, clubbing, and late-night pizza can never replace. This love has softened me, like a long soak in a spicy marinade, I am tender and flavored with the experiences of giving.

Pre-children, giving was a burden to me, why give when I could get? Getting was waay more fulfilling, and I think that the norms of our culture did have a say in how I perceived the world.  No blame, just noticing that middle-class suburban America did not instill an appreciation of the spirit gifting culture in me.


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