Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still laying track

Ever since becoming a mom, I've had this mental image of myself as a locomotive going full speed. Each kid is like a train car, following behind on the track I am laying ahead of us as quickly as I can. Linking one child, I have to put a little bit more effort into pulling, but once I get moving, I can still go pretty fast. Two kids, there is more pulling, slowing down only a bit.

But with three or four, just getting linked up takes all morning (because the others are so busy unhitching themselves and each other while I get the next one hooked up!). I am exhausted. Is it worth even trying to go anywhere?

Then, chugga, chugga. I can feel the steam building, the gears pressing together. Straining, straining to overcome inertia. More steam. Finally! The wheels start to turn. Press harder. I can feel the weight of the first car behind me, resisting at first, then coming along, slowly. Chink, chink. Then the next car. It's getting heavier now. And the next car. Can I do this? Lay some more track. Stop for a while, go back and get that car that got disconnected back there. Uh oh, the steam is cold now.

Start the process over again.

And again.

And again.

My kids are older now, and on a blissful occasion I have the pleasure of knowing those behind me are resisting less and pulling with me more. But I'm still laying track, still going back to get the one whose wheels need some grease or to pick up the one who feel off the track for a while. Still trying to keep some steam in the engine, trying to keep us linked, still trying to keep moving together.

Maybe not at full speed, but moving. Together.


Lori said...

Oh so true!!!

Susanne said...

What a great picture! That is exactly how it goes!

Kelli said...

My hubby works for the railroad, yet I had never considered the analogy. What a great one!

Julie said...

Thanks for the reminder that it is a process!! And sometimes a slow one.

TJ Wilson said...

I love your writing. Sounds crazy, but I'm encouraged that that you have five kids and send them to school.
Great analogy, esp the last word: together.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

Mommy-fied said...

I feel you! I only have 2 kids but this is exactly how I'm feeling. And most of the time all the effort goes unnoticed.

Joyfulness said...

Great post!