The house is noisy. It is messy. It is expensive, and not easy to maintain. It’s filled with toys, and sharp Legos that you step on in the middle of the night. It’s dirty. It’s got one obligation after another.
And yet it’s wonderful…so, so wonderful. The whole job of it. The whole mess of it. “We must think of ourselves as ministers and priests in our own house as in a temple,” the Stoic philosopher Hierocles once said, “chosen and consecrated to nature itself.”
The drive to baseball practice is not a chore, but a sacred duty. Bedtime is a ritual of great meaning. Mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, picking up the toys–this is making and unmaking the mandalas, a piece of art, a process that never ends. The yelling and the screaming, this is chamber music. The arguing, the fights, this is the debate, the great conversations.
It’s all wonderful. It’s quite holy…should you choose to see it that way. We are lucky to get to do it. All of it, even the hard stuff, the expensive stuff, the exhausting stuff. How do you know? Ask any parent with an empty nest. Ask any parent who buried a child.
They’ll tell you how much they miss it. They’ll tell you what they’d give for just one more service, one more afternoon in the temple that is a full house, they’ll tell you just how much it means to them.