It was just a soft touch. A quick rub of my arm. Yet it meant everything to me.
You see, I have a superpower: I can become invisible. Sounds pretty neat, right?
And I would imagine that you have found that you have this same superpower from time to time, too. I’m fully aware that it’s not unique to me. It’s a fairly common one, no doubt, and it really manifested when I became a mom. But you certainly don’t have to be a mom to possess this superpower; it’s just that, for me, that specific life change completely unmasked my incredible knack for blending in, for being unseen.
As a stay-at-home mom, my life revolves around my beautiful family. Literally, it is my job to ensure this family of mine, which includes the lovely home we inhabit, is in order.
And doing so takes a whole lot of effort. It’s a daunting task, that’s for sure. One that I willingly, purposely, gladly accepted. But that doesn’t make it any less consuming, and it’s certainly not any easier simply because I wanted to do it. I’m sure I find more joy in it than others might because I know within the depths of my soul that this is the work I’ve been called to, but still, being a mama ain’t no joke.
So most of my day is spent doing the unseen, the behind-the-scenes dirty work that rarely, if ever, gets the glory. And just like that, there it is: I’m invisible.
My superpower really shines through, though, in the dead of night. When my youngest stirs because he’s hungry or gassy or just needs a snuggle, that’s when my superpower almost never fails me. Because my husband is really good at sleeping, which means he usually has no idea that our son even woke in need. And I’m thankful for that, because goodness knows he deserves that rest, but it’s hard.
It’s hard to put forth effort and have your greatest supporter, your best friend, not even know. It’s hard being invisible.
But sometimes, every once in a while, he wakes for just a moment. Usually it’s when I return from caring for our son; he rolls over as a I glide back into bed, which is my signal that I didn’t glide quite gracefully enough (Because it’s 3AM. I’m not graceful at 3AM.). And, selfishly, those moments are my absolute favorite; for just one, fleeting second, I’m no longer invisible.
Those moments are when, without fail, he lightly rubs my arm. That’s my kryptonite. My superpower, the one that I didn’t want and certainly never asked for, fades away. I’m no longer invisible; I’ve been exposed, become vulnerable, and I’m seen. All I ever want is to be seen, and it only takes that one second, that seemingly insignificant gesture, to remind me of the worst part of it all:
I’m the only one making me invisible.
Feeling invisible is within my control. It’s a place that I willingly allow myself to go, a pity party that I like to throw myself every once in a while. Even though those moments in which I finally feel seen are absolutely glorious and fill my soul, it is entirely unfair of me to put that responsibility on my husband’s shoulders. Or my children. Or my family or friends.
I have a choice, a say in the matter, although I like to act like I don’t.
I can choose to live my life feeling invisible, tallying up my efforts and determining whether or not I’ve received enough recognition to be fulfilled for the day. Or, instead, I can choose to live in the Truth that, in the eyes of my Creator, I am always seen. Plain and simply, He recognizes my efforts. That should be all that I need; it should be wholly sustaining.
Because sometimes, sometimes my husband doesn’t wake up. Sometimes he doesn’t touch my arm. And I’m not meant to return to bed those nights feeling defeated and invisible yet again, simply because I was too graceful for once. That’s not on him; it’s on Him. And God, He can handle that responsibility. He finds joy in it, in fact. He’s with me each time I wake in the night to care for my Jonesy. And in every other invisible moment, too.
So, although I’ve always thought it’d be nifty to be Superwoman, I think it’s time that I hang up my cape.
I’m going into retirement, y’all. It’s time to be seen.