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