For once in my life, I am thankful that I don’t own nice stuff. There is sharpie on the couch cushions, scratches all over our tables, unidentifiable food stains on my shirts, and I think every game in our closet is missing at least one piece.
Being a fairly frugal person, I used to get bent out of shape when something broke or was lost because I didn’t have much and wanted to preserve the material objects I had. But now, my thought process (usually towards my toddler) is more like this:
“Your fire truck doesn’t have sirens or lights because you left it in the pool and the batteries don’t work? Good thing I only paid 75 cents for it at a garage sale.”
“You broke a glass while ‘helping’ mommy unload the dishwasher? Who cares that we don’t have a matching set anymore and I can just buy more glasses at Ross.”
Motherhood is teaching me a lot about detachment and that objects are just objects. It’s the people and your experiences that can’t be replaced. But I’m learning not just about material detachment from objects, but detachment in other areas such as sleep, plans, and social events. I’m not going to be able to go out whenever I want. I’m not going to get to sleep through the night. I’m not going to be able to get my whole To Do list done today, so I better just embrace my cross and die to self.
There is freedom and holiness in detachment, and my kids are helping me to see that. I remember hearing a homily about St. Francis of Assisi in college that shared this on Francis’ poverty:
“Francis reasoned, what could you do to a man who owns nothing? You can’t starve a fasting man, you can’t steal from someone who has no money, you can’t ruin someone who hates prestige. They were truly free.” (http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=50)
So here’s to detachment. Thank you, children, for helping me to realize what it means to be truly free.