Embracing the Ordinary

It’s something I’ve been trying to do lately – embrace the seemingly ordinary moments that I would have otherwise taken for granted. Silly things, really. Like watching my daughter perfect a fishtail braid on one of her dolls, listening to my son make a lot of noise music on his toy keyboard, or sitting on the couch with my husband watching another movie on another Saturday evening.

How often do I find myself at the end of the day, lying in bed, silenced by the wave of guilt that covers me instead of my blanket? I’d be lying if I said rarely. In fact, it’s almost every night. Did I love enough? Did I show enough empathy? Did I practice patience? I definitely know that I yelled more than I wanted to. I was annoyed with Annabella on quite a few occasions and I’m pretty sure I made that abundantly clear to her. And good lord, if Griffin would have climbed on me one more time I might have mistaken him for a jacket and put him in the hall closet.

People say toddlers whine, kindergarteners have attitude. Breathe. Keep calm and carry on. Keep a stiff upper lip. You’re the adult. Pretend if you have to. Fake it til you make it.

Bippity-boppity-bullshit. I’d need a fairy godmother to make it that easy. There are things no one shares with you when you have children and most of the time, having children is described as sunshine and lollipops, with the *occasional* diaper blowout or 2 am awakening.

That is a bold faced lie. It isn’t always comfortable. It isn’t always a bed of roses. The roses have thorns on them and you have to prune the roses constantly in order for them to grow. There will be pain. There will be guilt. There will be yelling and stomping – from me and the kid. There is always something I could have done better, some way I could have made the morning go more smoothly. It is exhausting and disheartening and sometimes I feel like I just can’t do it anymore.

That’s when I have to stop for a second. Look around myself. What do I really see?

I see my daughter who was not just perfecting a fishtail braid – she had spent literal hours trying to do so and it was a magnificent accomplishment for her. My son was not just making a lot of noise on his keyboard – he was making music and dancing his little diapered booty off. And those times I spent watching another movie on another Saturday night? It was with my husband, in the comfort of the home that we’ve built together. 

It’s in these ordinary moments that I find the mental polaroids, the pictures, that I hope succeed me. So I guess, in a way, there’s nothing ordinary about them. These are the bare bones of my life, and that’s…extraordinary.

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Like I said, extraordinary.