By Ashley Willis
I know it is a tremendous blessing to be a mother, and I thank God every day for my crazy kiddos. I just wish that the good Little House on the Prairie moments outweighed the bad Roseanne ones. Seriously! Not long ago my then-seventeen-month-old was dipping Oreos in the toilet and eating them, for crying out loud! The craziness is real, and some days—okay, most days—I feel in over my head. I feel like I’ve become a “pirate mom” just trying to navigate the raging seas of raising my precious little mateys, stealing chocolate from my kid’s Halloween candy stash, barking off orders like it’s my job, and bumping around the house in a sleep-deprived stupor until I gulp down enough coffee. Yeah. I may or may not have said, “Make haste, scallywag!” a time or two. Okay, it hasn’t gone that far.
Recently, my youngest sported a legit eye patch for months due to a lazy eye. Not to mention, my other boys are obsessed with pirate swords. We even dressed up like pirates for a Disney cruise with our extended family. My eldest son recently told me that he thinks I have an obsession with “pirate jackets,” and you know, looking at my closet, I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement. I mean, what’s not to love about some lace-trimmed sleeves and military-style buttons adorning a blazer? I love it! So, yeah, we’re pretty much a pirate family.
But in reality, pirates aren’t fun or even fashionable. Pirates take from others. And when I allow myself to morph into a pirate mom—letting life toss me about like a ship at sea—I enable certain thoughts, circumstances, and people to plunder the peace in my heart and home. And consequently, our home becomes a topsy-turvy place lacking comfort, understanding, stillness, assurance, and most important, peace.
Our family spends a lot of long imaginative days at sea clanging plastic swords and finding buried treasure because it seems the thing to do, but there are some days when I feel the heaviness of the playacting closing in on us. (like my mind!) throws us around—and it feels as if my peace and sanity are tossed overboard in the process. And I become even more pirate-y, if you know what I mean. Except I don’t have an intimidating eye patch and my weapons aren’t plastic pirate swords. My weapons come in the form of impatience, harsh words, eye rolls, frustration, and sighs toward the ones I love the most. I lash out—like a crazy pirate—at my precious little mateys. Then, I feel guilty, defeated, and depleted.
We’re all emotionally seasick and desperately in search of the peace that was lost at sea. This is where Peace Pirates comes in. I want us to reclaim our hearts and our homes rather than giving them away to an elusive pirate that steals from us in the form of emotions, time, and other thief-like assaults on focus and frame of mind. Any other pirate mamas with me?