Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Magnum Opus

"What is that nifty little thing? Did you make it?"
"I did indeed," replied Charlotte in a weak voice. 
"Is it a plaything?" 
"Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my magnum opus." 
"I don't know what a magnum opus is," said Wilbur. 
"That's Latin," explained Charlotte. "It means 'great work.' This egg sac is my great work- the finest thing I have ever made."
 -- Charlotte's Web, E.B. White

There once was a wise, gentle spider who did great things.  Miraculous things, like spinning pronouns into a web, eventually bringing great notoriety to her barnyard and saving her friend from becoming bacon.  Funny thing is, by the end of this children's classic dedicated to Charlotte's magical feat that no spider has ever done before and will probably never do in the future, she admits she has created a work of art even greater.  Her magnum opus: her children.  

I guess you could say I've spun words into webs myself, given my profession.  Probably no life-saving miracle words like Charlotte, but I suppose not the kind of garbage Templeton rips from a box of soap flakes, either.  And like that sweet spider, the finest things I have ever made are my two daughters.

Art takes many forms -- sculpture, architecture, music, fashion.  Not all great creators will paint on the canvas of parenthood.  And plenty of geniuses (Michelangelo, da Vinci, Picasso) have made masterpieces across multiple disciplines.  It's just, for me, motherhood is my medium of choice. 

Simply, I love being a mom.  In The Success Principles:  How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, inspirational author Jack Canfield guides people to fulfilling their destiny, using the stories of those who have made millions of dollars or landed their dream home or finally bought a yacht or lost double-digit pounds.  As I read it now, all I can think about is how my great dream, where I really want to be, the picture of my ultimate life, my grandest achievement, is standing beside -- no, embracing -- a beautiful, wholesome, smart, happy, unified, strong family.  That's my vision of success.  

After all, in the Passion chapter, Canfield says:  "No doubt you know or have met people who are passionate about life and enthusiastic about their work.  They can't wait to get up in the morning and get started.  They are eager and energetic.  They are filled with purpose and totally committed to their mission.  This kind of passion comes from loving and enjoying your work.  It comes from doing what you were born to do.  It comes from following your heart and trusting joy as a guide.  Enthusiasm and passion come as a result of caring about what you do.  If you love your work, if you enjoy it, you're already a success."

I'm committed to being an elite network news producer.  I aim to be a great friend, a fine designer, an exceptional sister and a decent baker.  By admitting motherhood is my most beautiful work, I'm not suggesting other areas of my life are not important, too.  Motherhood is not a distraction; it is like a highlighter to the pages of my biography, adding color and brightness to all I do.  

Laundry is lame, ear infections are evil, and grocery store tantrums stink. so.  super.  bad.  I have hard days.  I've been exhausted for nearly six years straight.  Still, watching my children master a new skill or demonstrate kindness even when it is difficult or ask to read the same book over and over at bedtime -- those are like beautiful brush strokes to me.

I may not master my craft.  I doubt I'll win a special award at the county fair.  There's no gallery in Manhattan that will hang my work on a blank white wall.  But maybe, hopefully, a few people will see that I have discovered what I love, followed my passion and created something I am proud of.


Katie said...

So beautifully said

lolita said...

Wow! lovely piece. Am going to follow ur write-ups in future.
S. Lalitha,
Coimbatore (India).