In the Disney movie Pete’s Dragon, there is a scene where a chubby lady is mad at the traveling quack doctor. She claims that his special diet pills made her gain a bunch of weight. His defense is “Ah… but now there is so much more of you to love!” That seems to satisfy her.
Last night I was lying in my bed looking at a recently-hung wedding picture of Jeff and I.
I was trying to remember what it felt like to be that girl, and I found that I couldn’t.
I remember that she was happy and enthusiastic, with lots of good ideas and goals. But there was so much that she didn’t know. So much that she couldn’t understand, because she had never experienced it.
She didn’t know how comforting it is to wake up every morning for 16 years next to her best friend.
She didn’t know how much fun you can have, even when you’re a poor, married student.
She didn’t know yet that she actually enjoys teaching Sunday School, or that she’s a pretty decent choir director.
She couldn’t imagine how hard it is to be pregnant 7 times, or comprehend the overwhelming joy of rocking and loving that precious little baby once they finally arrive.
She hadn’t ever considered the effort it would take to try and provide healthy food for so many hungry people. Every single day. (It’s a good thing she didn’t see that one coming, cuz she sure as heck didn’t know how to cook! She would have been terrified!)
She didn’t know the secure feeling of knowing all of her precious children are tucked safely in their beds, or the unsettled feeling when someone is missing.
She had never felt responsible for another person’s well-being; physical, emotional, academic, spiritual, etc., etc., etc. She didn’t know how strong she would need to be to carry that load sometimes.
As I was thinking about all that I have learned over the last 16 years, I felt rich and full, if that makes sense. I could see how my life’s experiences have stretched me and shaped me. They have made my soul expand and deepened my understanding and my capacity to feel joy.
So back to Pete’s Dragon, now there is so much more of me! Yes, there are the obvious extra pounds and wrinkles, but even those I wouldn’t trade. Hopefully in 30 years I will look back on this post and smile, and think “ahh… but there is so much that she didn’t know.”