Wednesday, August 13, 2008

mothering at home

while i am not at home( i am at the beach vacationing with my family) i have been blog wandering into essays on homemaking. this quote by G.K. Chesterton is so great i had to copy and paste it for y'all to read! i know it is long... but i really think you will enjoy it.

"[Woman is surrounded] with very young children, who require to be taught not so much anything as everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren't...."

"[W]hen people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge [at his work]. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean…. I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children [arithmetic], and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."

now that i reminded of the hugely important role i get to play-- i am off to dig in the sand with my baby and watch his eyes widen as he sees sailboats go by!


LB said...

oh, I think we have been reading the same blogs Jane. Biblical Womanhood? I just posted about "homemaking," as I have been reminded lately of its importance. Love the quote!!

CityGirl said...

i love these quotes! good finds jane!