Last week, after a totally failed meet up with a friend and her son, we ended up sitting in my messy house, on my dirty couch, chatting. She said something to the effect of, “You’re always so positive in your writing. Do you really feel that way when things go wrong or do you feel differently after you gain some perspective?” Considering she saw me practically brought to tears by the “Closed” sign on the museum door (and the open slots in Little’s Crocs that were collecting massive amounts of irritating bark), I think she knew the answer. But, since she had to ask, I can’t help but wonder if other readers can’t help but wonder, “Is this lady for real?”
(Either that or, “Wait, who said what? Positive? Ha!”)
Well, I can tell you that I’m very real. Very human. Very moody. Very busy. Very tired. You know, a mom of three young kids.
But I can also tell you that, as a kid, my parents were constantly talking about having a positive attitude. When things went wrong in our house (which they often did), we might be upset for a bit, but we’d eventually laugh about it. Together.
And I guess that’s kind of how I see this blog. It’s me, you, and people just like us, laughing at the little crazy moments we experience as parents. Together.
So do I really think it’s funny that my kid calls me a “l-o-s-e-r” because at least it means he’s doing well in spelling? No. But I do realize that he spends all day in a very strict classroom, on his very best behavior (according to his weekly behavioral report), and when he comes home he feels safe enough to blow off stem (and his mom). So, I do my best to reign him in, and love him, while finding a way to laugh.
Oh, and that other kid who insists on running/scootering/biking as fast as humanly possible? I can’t tell you how many times a day my heart rate reaches dangerous levels. But then, come nighttime, he puts his head in my lap and points at his back—his sweet, tired way of asking me to scratch his back and cuddle him. And there it is. Perspective.
Pink? Well, she makes it pretty easy to find the bright side. She’s one happy baby. Unless of course she’s throwing a tantrum and biting anything she can get her teeth on (including herself). Who can blame her? It must be so frustrating to watch everyone your world—quite literally—run circles around you. But with each baby step she takes along the way, she celebrates. She claps for herself. Laughs. Dances. She’s a constant reminder that hard work and progress is so much more worthwhile if you celebrate and enjoy yourself along the way.
But the best part is, I’m not doing this all alone. All of my kids have at least two parents, and the younger two kids have three parents. (Yes, three! Sort of… Though Big seems to think the job is all his.) Lenny is a constant source of perspective. He listens to me vent. He reminds me of our kids’ strengths. He takes our boys outside and lets them tackle him. He offers insights, encouragement, and hugs. He even tells me I look nice now and then.
My mom, my friends, my mother-in-law, they also constantly remind me that motherhood has its really challenging moments. Those are the moments that let us show our true character. My true character? Well, I’m a yeller. But perspective, that’s what gives me time to take a step back and focus on the bright side (you know, having the opportunity to exercise my vocal cords), and write about it in a meaningful way.
Yes, perspective. It’s a gift we can all be grateful for. (Once our kids are in bed.)
Photo source: morgueFile