Since I am more thoughtful than the teenage daughter, I did pay attention. I thought about this mom for a few seconds and then turned my brain back to myself. (I'm still more thoughtful than the teenager.) Tiny-ness is something I fear. I push against it in my own way, telling myself that someday I will have more time to remind the universe that I exist.* But for now, on a daily basis, I am only important to three people: Seth, Jonah, and Andy.** And Jonah and Andy don't even know how important I am -- neither of them has ever said thank you to me after a diaper change. They usually say the opposite.
We discussed this question at book club, a group made up of mostly mothers. The consensus was that NO, our lives are NOT TINY. We're doing something crucial here. Our love and care shape our children, who in turn shape the world.
That night in bed I thought of that cliche: "To the world, you may be one person. But to one person, you may be the world." (Bonus fact: I've had the country song this saying inspired stuck in my head since then.) And it's true. To 99.99999% of the world,*** I will forever be just a number. Just one of the 300 and whatever million people in the United States. Just one 2.5 billion Christians and 12 million Mormons. Just one of 3.5 billion females.
But when Andy wakes up in the morning, the only thing he wants is me. (Okay, and Seth. But really, we're talking about me today.) He wants me to pick him up from his crib, to change his diaper, to feed him, to hug him, to cheer him on as he planks,**** to put his toys just out of reach to encourage him to STRETCH! (He doesn't know he wants this.) He wants me to teach him (well, someday) about how God sent us out into a world where bad things happen and we have pain but how he provided a Savior to give us light and hope (happy Easter, everyone).
And Jonah hasn't learned how to open his bedroom door yet (someone put the handle on upside down), so his world would be less than 100 square feet without me.
So is my life tiny? No, it's TWO WORLDS worth of huge.
I thought this was grand and glorious for about 20 minutes after waking up the next morning. (As I've said before: Breakfast is a stressful time at my house. Plus, there's the whole diaper issue.) Since it's draining to be needed so urgently and so constantly, I feel like I could live with a little less huge-ness.
But for now, there are enough moments of grandeur and glory***** to refill me when I've been drained and to reassure me that the enormity of my life won't knock me over. At least not yet.
** And YOU. But not as much.
*** I didn't actually do the math on this.