10.17.2008

Legacy

I try to keep thinks light and breezy at this here blog. I like to emphasize the good in our lives, while keeping the bad and ugly from rearing their ugly heads. Yet, like my friend Amy wrote, (I'm paraphrasing because I can't find the exact post at this moment), when we don't share the nitty gritty we are excluding too much of real life. I agree. I like to share the highlights of our life with my friends and family, the things we make, places we go, funny things the kids say, milestones achieved. My whole "accentuate the positive" philosophy.

But as many of you know, there's much more to life than that. There's dirt under the fingernails, there are weeds in the yard, there are temper tantrums at the end of the day, there are whole rolls of toilet paper stuffed down the toilet, there are voices raised and doors slammed - or even worse, times when no one speaks.

My life is good. There's food in the fridge, money in the bank, fuel in the tank, wood in the shed, and a parent at home at all times. I really could not want for more. But sometimes I get sad, I daresay depressed. There are days when I want to be invisible. Not disappear for good, just not see anyone or be seen. I want to go about my daily routine without waving to neighbors, answering questions, fulfilling requests. Just be me by myself.

conspicuously incognito

Avery took this picture on one such day a few weeks ago. I don't have the magic ability to disappear, so instead I went incognito with a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses (which probably made me more conspicuous). I took the kids to the park so they could have some fun rather than being trapped in the house with sad mommy.

stitching under oaks

I sat on a blanket in the shade of an oak tree and made acorn necklaces. I looked up and smiled when I heard my kids call for me.

big gulp of shame

I drank a Big Gulp of Dr. Pepper, knowing the whole time how bad it was for me. I call it my Big Gulp of Shame.

It was definitely not my best day, but in hindsight it probably wasn't so bad. I got through it. I even smiled a few times. If my kids remember it at all, hopefully they'll remember it as the day mommy bought them Slurpees and took them to the park.

I often wonder what my kids will grow up to remember of me, of their childhood. Will they remember all those mornings when I was rushing around in a frenzy trying to get them ready for school and running with them up to the bus stop? Will they remember me sitting, in tears, while listening to a sad story on the radio or watching lectures on You Tube or TED? Will they remember those nights when I was just too tired to read them a book before bed? Or how about those moments when mommy and daddy were talking too loudly to one another or not talking at all?

What I hope they remember about me is this:

love letters

That they loved me enough to give me little notes when I was sick.

rocks in a jar on my windowsill

That they brought me my favorite kind of rocks, the kind with stripes, that I kept in a jar on the windowsill so I could see them everyday.

That I read to them most nights; that they were never late for school, even if they did have to run; that mommy and daddy love each other no matter what; that bad days happen; that it is possible to have more good days than bad; that Slurpees and Big Gulps are OK, in moderation.

Of course my kids have years of memory making ahead of them, but I think we're off to a good start creating a balanced legacy, even if they are being raised by a mommy who wishes she had the power to be invisible.

Thank you Amy, for inspiring a healthy dose of honesty.

35 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful picture of you Molly. Thanks for your honesty here, too. Life isn't always peachy, but we do what we can. Our children almost inherently know that. They want us to be the best version of ourselves that we can be... but it is a struggle sometimes. take care. You do so many wonderful things... xoxo

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  2. I can't thank you or your friend Amy enough for putting these words out there! Yep, life is complicated and rarely perfect, and honestly it's refreshing to see that admitted. And I'm totally stealing your phrase Big Gulp of Shame - only mine would be something even worse like the Little Debbie Snack Cakes of Shame! And right now I'm experiencing the Reading Blogs When I Should Be Doing More Productive Things Shame, and it's becoming crippling. But I'm coming back later cause I see I've missed some other great posts!

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  3. wow - I don't even know what to say. I'm really moved.

    I wonder that too - what my children will remember. And I know that for each of them it will be different. Hopefully what they all will remember is that I loved them with my whole being and I did the best I could for them every day.

    Big hugs, my friend!

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  4. wow. i love your honesty. i can goto portland any time!!!! seriously. just disappear in the shelves of powells...

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  5. ah yes molly i too have these days, perhaps more often then i'd like to admit. i'd like to think we are more the norm than the exception. but those faces and voices just pull you right back in the game of life. messy sweet life.

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  6. ps i posted you and here on my blog today. hugs.

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  7. You look gorgeous - depression and all. No one is perfect, lest not me. I think it's good to blog about all sides of life; dark and light. I hope today was wonderful. :o)

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  8. oh, molly, i know this so well. i remember frantically searching the blogs for what people did on their meltdown days, how they handled new babies & spouse fights & failure in general. there wasn't much to find. this is real. this is hide from your neighbors drink soda. thank you for sharing. i like to think they'll mostly remember the warm moments ~ soup, a fire, a laugh, a hug, socks. things that they can reach for themselves throughout their lives, easily enough that that can't really be taken away from them. thank you & just stop on your way down ~ tea with a girlfriend makes everything better!

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  9. Thanks for the refreshing post. I've been having a few of those days lately, too, including today. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I found out that I forgot, really forgot, the potluck at my son's new school. How sad that I'm in a place where I have no desire to meet new people. But I know this will pass, as your day did. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  10. this is lovely, molly. i think so many of us have these days. i just had a whole week full. hugs!

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  11. I shudder to think what my children will remember of me when they are grown. I like to think it will be the birthday cakes, and special trips. The quiet moments talking together, and nose kisses. But I have a sneaking suspicion they are keeping a list of every time my crazy comes out. Sigh.

    But someday, when they have their own children, they will realize that we did our best.

    Have a wonderful weekend friend.

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  12. I think your "incognito" photo looks more like you than many of your self portraits. You are always smiling in person, like in this shot, but sometimes I don't even recognize you in pictures you take of yourself not smiling. So if you are trying not to be noticed in public, make sure you don't smile.
    We all remember things differently, but mostly we remember the extremes, highs and lows. The rest we forget, so keep taking photos of your kids having fun in mundane ways because those photos will trigger their memory of childhood when they are 40.
    And the Marital Strain Tip Of The Day is this: most every problem is due to miscommunication. Sandra and I have had countless fights over things we were actually agreeing about, but couldn'thear the other's words. OMG! It is counter-intuitive to ask the idiot who just said the most ridiculous thing whether what you heard is what they really meant, but asking for clarification can save a lot of unnecessary pain. Take it from this idiot.

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  13. the added advantage of the big gulp of shame is that it helps hide the part of your face not covered with sunglasses or hat.

    you are not alone, dear molly! except .. taking your kids to the park and for slurpees on a down day? i tip my (large, face-masking) hat to you.

    xoxoxo

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  14. Molly...you are so right in this post. And luckily are little ones are so forgiving to us mamas. And thank you for posting this because so many times on the outside it looks like we all have it so together...when in reality we're just as crazed as the next mama. Much love to you friend...I'll bring the Dr. P next time.

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  15. I, too, wish I had an "invisibility Cloak" for those days when I need a break from life. Luckily the kids never let me wallow too long in my aloneness. And I am grateful for that! I hope you find comfort knowing you are not alone!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. love your honesty here dear molly... i just had one of those days yesterday...

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  17. I struggle too with how to share or capture an accurate picture of our days, good and bad...and you do so beautifully here. Honesty has that effect I guess.

    Thank you for sharing and making all of our journeys a bit easier. You are one of the moms I hold high on a pedestal. I'm not happy to hear you have sad days but I am glad to know I'm not alone.

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  18. yes
    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes


    i drink dr pepper too and say i'm getting some help from the doctor. : )

    right on, girl.

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  19. What a great post about real life! I think we all go through days like that, and it may not be easy to write, but when reading, it's nice to see that you're not the only one! Thanks for sharing :)

    ~Tabitha~

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  20. which is exactly why I posted my experience with CPS.. I wanted to remember my bad days as well as my good days. I write mostly for myself and someday, for my kids when they are older and I'll give them each a copy of my blog in print. I want them to know that mommy is human too, and I understand what it is like to have a bad day. Somedays are just... blah. But luckily, most days are filled with smiles and laughter and things to do.

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  21. Molly, it seems you've touched us all with your courage to be honest and real. I blog with a similar intention...share the happy, show the the beauty...but the "dark" and the "ugly" are what make us able to appreciate the lighter side to life...it's just so scary to reveal yourself...to be naked to the world. Your choice to be vulnerable gives so much more depth to the rest of the content of this blog and the gorgeous life you share with us. We all are doing the best we can, and now a few of us might not feel quite as alone when we melt down, hide out, curl up, or indulge in our own "Big Gulps". Thank you, so glad to know you and now so glad to know you more deeply. I will envision your sweet smile in the above photo the next morning I dread leaving my house to face the world.

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  22. Totally refreshing! I think you spoke the words that so many of us feel!

    I think leading a reflective life and being a reflective parent can only result in good for the kids and us.

    Having bad days are normal, and I wouldn't want my kids to think otherwise.

    Have a great day! Love the blog!

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  23. Great post...
    I loved this.

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  24. thanks for being so transparent. that is so powerful. in the world of blogging it's way too easy just to show and share the stuff that you'd want people to see, you know the pretty, crafty creative stuff. you're post was so real and so honest. thanks for sharing, we've all been there. is that the day you were 'stitching under oaks'? :)

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  25. katef - www.picklebums.comOctober 19, 2008

    I am new to your blog but just sat here thinking... 'yep... yes... oh yes... yep, me too.' I think I see yet another blog added to my feed reader!

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  26. This is such a sweet post. Bad days happen, and I often feel like disappearing too. All you can do is get through it the best way you can. And I think you are creating a pretty darn good legacy thus far.

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  27. Thanks for this post Molly. As I've been going through a srtuggle which I haven't talked about on my blog, I've often wondered what my kids thought of me. We do the best we can.

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  28. I think you can answer your question (how your kids will remember you when they grow up)with your heart. Your mom and I ask it too, but every time we see you and Rob, every time we talk with both of you, our heart's answers.
    It's o.k. to have a down day. The good overshadows most of the time!
    Love
    Dad

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  29. well said, Molly. We've all been there. great post.

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  30. Not sure really what I want to say - just that I stopped in and didn't want to visit without saying hi. Your post is written beautifully. Thank you for sharing your less-than-pretty thoughts. As much as you may have written them to help get them off of your chest or as a way to connect and feel less alone - you should know that someone reading them was given the same gifts. Thank you.

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  31. Thank you for this. When I first entered the blogging world I too wondered how on Earth could all these mama's lives be so perfect? We need to be able to stop a have a day off from trying to be the perfect mommy, whatever that is. Thank you for having the courage to post your true self and feelings. I love reading blogs that are a genuine peek into someone's soul.

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  32. you are so beautiful! I love your hat.

    when I was having my bad days a few posts ago, your email cheered me up...comforted me. we all have struggle days, lucky us we have friends who reach down and pick us up.

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  33. This is such a lovely post...you are the best!

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  34. oh my lovely words...so relate to them. Thanks

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  35. Oh, gosh, I think we could (and maybe should?) all write such a post, about the less-than-pretty stuff, about the I-just-want-to-curl-up-in-a-ball-under-the-covers kind of days, about those I-know-I-shouldn't-but-I-do sorts of things, about the what-are-my-kids-going-to-remember-about-their-childhood, etc....
    ...but few of us could write about it so well as you have here.
    Thank you.
    p.s. You just reminded me of the time, recently, when I woke up super late in the morning and sick, and found my arm plastered in Dymo labels reading "GET WELL". I needed just that kind of reminder on a day like today.

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