One day I was waiting in line for my child’s evaluation with his new kindergarten teacher. A stylish young mother and her son sat in the chairs next to us because the teacher was running behind. I was obviously eight months pregnant and hovering on the huge side of big.
This young mother stared at my belly and asked, “Why do you want to do that again?” Her question caught me off guard. I blushed. “This is it for me,” she added. “Boy am I ever ready to get this last one in school. Now it’s my turn for me.” She was wearing beautifully tailored clothes, her hair was elegantly styled and her long fake fingernails were polished pink with jeweled flowers on the tips. “Just bought that,” she finished pointing to a shiny red sports car in the parking lot. “Nice huh.”
I looked down at my protruding mid-section and asked myself . . . Why am I doing this again? My worn maternity clothes were stained orange across the belly with my preschooler’s spaghetti from lunch. I still had dirt under my fingernails from playing in the sandbox. My wind-blown hair was stuck to several sticky kisses on my cheeks. The old van I drove was covered with mud and still smelled like hot dog and marshmallow smoke from our last family camp out. Yet, I knew exactly why I was doing this again.
I cleared my throat several times, turned to this woman and asked, “What if a highly important person brought you to the opening of a diamond mine and said you could go inside and gather as many diamonds as you wanted? But, there was one condition. You only had a certain amount of time before your opportunity was over and then you couldn’t gather any more diamonds. Would you do it?”
“Sure, who wouldn’t,” the stylish young mother answered.
“What if some of the diamonds were hidden in the rocks and you had to work really hard to find them and keep them?”
“I’d be willing to do whatever it took to get those diamonds because then I’d be rich,” the young mother answered. “Even one diamond is worth a fortune.”
“That’s why I’m doing this again,” I answered patting my abdomen.
I’m not sure that woman understood what I was trying to say. But I noticed that my little boy, who was seated next to me, took my hand and quite literally beamed. Children always know when they’re somebody’s treasure.
Wiping runny noses, changing messy diapers, fixing endless meals, sorting dirty laundry, soothing crying infants, waiting up for teenagers, supervising homework, cleaning up after the stomach flu, washing dishes, bringing in a paycheck and picking up after another toddler tornado doesn’t seem like important work. It is. Loving and serving children of all ages is the only work that really matters. The value of each person’s soul is priceless.
So, the next time you’re in the middle of cleaning up yet another mess, repeat these words . . . Children are my diamonds. I’ll do whatever it takes to nurture their souls because then I’ll be rich with love forever.