Come with me on this. Grab a coffee and relax. Picture yourself at 15. You just created your finest game of MASH known to man. Will you end up with a Hanson brother or maybe Adam Levine? Here comes your fate, except for a brief second you can see your future- it’s right there – four kids, all of whom are beaming and polite, home on the lake, pristine SUV- that’s your future. Suddenly you’re snapped back to reality by a toddler wiping her nose on your yoga pants surrounded by family chaos.
This is not how I pictured this… how did I get here??
One kid, then two kids and life is seemingly so sweet. Then whoops- there’s three kids. Those polite kids you dreamt of- so sweet to one another, doting and clean-faced- those are not your kids. Nope. Yours are slamming doors and screaming in your face whilst wiping boogers on the wall. How did I get here?
It’s all good. No one’s kids are perfect, right? The lake house was subbed out for an adorable suburban home that is suddenly bursting at the seams, filled with the family chaos. There are Barbie limbs here and LOL shoes there. I feel like I could write an Old MacDonald song here on the spot for all of these tiny bits and pieces. Where did all of this come from? How did I get here?
My mother was always heralded as a saint, a baby whisperer to boot. She was woman whose patience bucket never ran empty. She was going to be the most ideal grandma you have ever seen! And then the baby was born, and she was there for a bit and then she was gone. She has a life still and a job; she has found this time for herself and embraces it. Yet here I am knowing that she deserves this time so much and feeling jealous she’s not spending her time with us. So quarterly visits became the norm for our family. Meanwhile, my neighbor’s grandma visits almost weekly. I see her Jeep pull in and my feelings bubble up because I am jealous. How did I get here?
‘Here’ is this weird place. A place where you feel like you’ll never escape it. Yet you blink and suddenly you jumped from the Fourth of July into a Christmas countdown. Where your expectations for others have suddenly lessened because no one is going to do exactly what you want or the way you want anyways. So, you may as well keep doing it all (Cheers!). ‘Here’ is finding an inner circle of women- friends from high school, women at the gym and that neighbor who you always thought looked kind of unfriendly; and realizing each of those women serve a new purpose in your life. They appreciate and relate the your family chaos. You’re grateful to have found the right people to be here right now with you.
The realization strikes how quickly ‘here’ would become ‘way back then’ and I began to really appreciate my life a little more. Sure, my kids have their moments of sheer awfulness. But the things that a three-year-old says can also really turn any situation into something funny. Or that my six-year-old has a really bright future in gymnastics and yet she still loves to snuggle with her mama. That’s ‘here’. I may not have the white picket fence and the fancy lake house, but I have a great, comfortable home that serves its purpose. I have three healthy kids, a blooming sense of myself and honestly, ‘here’ is a pretty great place to be.