Tag Archives: life

Your Sparkly Life is Blinding

FamilyWithPups1

(Image courtesy of Google & Norman Rockwell)

I’m sorry, but we can’t be Facebook friends anymore.

Its not you- its me.

Well, actually, its me being jealous of the perfect life you portray.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.

Normally, I can try and be happy for you.  I WANT to be happy for you.  I LONG for the feelings of genuine pleasure when I see your posts of your perfectly portrayed life.

I’ve even told myself to “fake it til I make it”, but today *sigh* today was the last straw.

Today- after I found cat food dumped into the toilet ; found cat litter (and poop) strewn about the bathroom floor; dealt with a toddler meltdown of epic proportions because I wouldn’t let him suck down an tube of Oragel; listened to fights over video games that started before any sane person should get up during the summer; stepped on THE SAME BLOCKS I had already told the boys to pick up 50 TIMES today; and then found my purse, with all its contents scattered over ever inch of my bedroom floor- I logged onto Facebook and got a virtual punch to my gut from your post.

There were your sweetpeas, like a  Norman Rockwell painting, in all your perfectly portrayed glory, doing something perfect-

And I just can’t deal.

I know- I’m behaving irrationally and making hasty decisions.  I’m blaming it on lack of sleep since- while your little darlings slept through the night with visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads, allowing you to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed enough to go get a fancy coffee after eating a hearty, homemade, organic breakfast and then get in a workout sans kids- my night and morning was a TAD less smooth.  I went to bed with a toddler who took up half my space, got woken up in the middle of the night by a kid who had a nightmare and wanted to sleep with us, too, and then realized that my small amount of space had grown even smaller with the addition of the family pets.  I was then woken up WAY too early, made coffee myself, justified my coffee as my breakfast since that was all I had time for, and prayed for nap time.  And while your husband gets normal days off, mine works EVERY SINGLE DAY, so getting his help isn’t an option.

So, yeah- I’m tired, and bitter, and jealous, and MAYBE acting a little childish- call it a side effect from dealing with 4 imperfect boys in all their imperfection.

You’re a nice person- sickeningly so- but I’m just not mature enough to be happy for you 24/7- but, at least, I’m mature enough to admit to that.

And maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe your life isn’t perfect.  Maybe, like most of us, you’re just posting the highlights, and you keep your dirty laundry hidden away; but, while your highlights include you being crowned Miss America for the 5th time in a row, my highlight reel might sound more like,”Yay!  I made it through the day without any kid poop incidents!”  Which also leads me to believe that your dirty laundry is just that- you have a load of dirty laundry that *gasp* you haven’t done in 3 days… because you were building a house with Habitat for Humanity.

I’m honestly NOT a “misery loves company” kind of girl, but your sparkly life is blinding me.

Like I said, its not you, its me.

But if a day should ever come when you really do have a crisis in your life, you’re always welcome to call on me.  We can hide in my laundry room, sit on my oversized pile of dirty laundry, and attempt to block out the sounds of my boys trying to off each other, and I’ll listen as long as you need me to.  Chances are I’ve been there.

And I’ll try REALLY hard not to silently cheer if I see spinach caught in your perfect teeth.

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Control… and other illusions

Confession #302: I have NO idea what is going on.

 

Have you ever been under the illusion that you have SOME sort of control over your life?

If you were still under that illusion, I’m sorry for shattering it, but the fact is, its really just that- an illusion. Like a fancy magic trick.

I was under the impression for a very long time that I had a little control over my life, but lately I’ve come to the conclusion that I really knew nothing. As in, zilch.

How so, you ask?

I had always been under the impression that my family situation was perfect for us. Some people tried to claim that having 3 kids was putting us at an uneven advantage with the whole 3 against 2 thing, but I disagreed. 3 kids was my ideal number. I KNEW in my head and heart that 3 kids was what we were meant for- so much so, that I got an IUD to close Boystown’s boy factory.

Or so I thought.

In April, I found out otherwise. In April, I found out that IUDs can give you the illusion of control without actually giving you any. In April, I found out that I was actually 5 months pregnant with our 4th addition to Boystown.

Yup. Another boy. And yes- 5 months.

So, basically, we’ve secured our spot here. We’re single-handedly keeping my husband’s family name alive.

So many times I thought that I knew where my life was headed. Life is funny that way. Just when you think you’ve got it all under control, life kicks you to jog your memory- sometimes very literally.

Its times like this that I’m reminded of a quote:

We make plans, and God laughs.

Well played, God. Well played.

My Dearest Offspring…

Right now I’m sitting in your dad’s and my room, and I’m listening to a rare moment taking place- the 3 of you are playing together and I can’t hear any screams of torture or maiming.  It’s glorious.  My ‘Mommy-senses’ don’t have to be on full alert.

The 3 of you boys are currently pretty young in the grand scheme of things, and -although I’m sure you’d roll your eyes at me if you read this at this point in time and claim that you aren’t little- that includes you, too, Camo.  12, 6, and nearly 2 are ages that don’t have to worry about so many things yet.  However, you won’t always be so young, so if you should one day run across this, I hope you’ll read it and take what I say to heart.  I know if I was to mention this all to you right now, you’d ask when I was going to finish (about 5 minutes in) and start to fidget.  You’d undoubtably take a point I’m trying to make and think I’m picking on you and an argument might ensue.  Hopefully, if you’re reading this as an older, wiser, version of you, though, you’ll have mastered the art of patience and the ability to discern the difference between me “picking” on you and me looking out for you.

That brings me to my first thing I want to say.

#1- Do not- under any circumstance- pray for patience unless you’re ready for what God will hand to you.  God CAN create something out of nothing, but -with us- God likes to “teach us to fish” so that we’ll have that skill forever.  In other words, God won’t just grant you patience; He’ll give you a bunch of situations in which you must learn to breathe or die from holding your breath.  So, go ahead and pray for it- patience is a virtue and all that- but be ready.  I prayed for patience at 19; God gave me a bottle rocket named Cameron.  I’ve been in the process of honing that virtue now for the last 12 years.

#2- Its good to be cautious, but its also okay to throw caution to the wind at times.  Don’t let fear keep you from new experiences.  You guys are smart; your dad and I have raised you to have good heads on your shoulders.  You know the difference between fear of the unknown and fear because you have a gut feeling you shouldn’t do it.  Please remember this for when you have your kids, too.  Its good to be cautious with your kids, but there IS such a thing as ‘overly-cautious’.  Scrapes, cuts, bruises- they all heal.  Those situations that allowed for the stings of life, though, they teach you bits and pieces about life and who you are.  I’m not saying to let my grandkids do anything dangerous, but if it isn’t death defying, sit back, grit your teeth, and let them explore.  Let my grandkids BE kids- or I’ll tell them stories about YOUR childhoods, complete with pictures.

#3- Since today is Sunday, its reminding me of faith and church and beliefs, so I’ll bring this up.  While I hope and pray that everything your dad and I taught you will be instilled in you and you’ll choose our beliefs, its ok to have doubts and to question.  Just like every passenger on a plane needs to have their own ticket to fly, no one will get to Heaven on someone else’s faith.  so, by all means, ask questions!  It’ll make me happy because then I know you won’t just blindly follow anyone else’s beliefs either.  Also, if you’re asking questions, it means you’ll have a better time learning what God wants to teach you.  Oh, and don’t worry about asking questions in other areas of your life, too.  If you don’t understand something, ask, and if that person doesn’t give you a satisfactory answer or if they suck as a teacher, find someone else.  Never settle on uncertainty because you’re afraid of making someone mad or uncomfortable.  They can deal with it.

#4- People who say “Its not about winning or losing” are stupid.  I’m sorry, but its true.  Any kid who’s lost a game can tell you it sucks, no matter how much fun they had.  There will ALWAYS be winners and losers in this life, and one of the best examples I can give you for grown ups is the person who gets the job/ promotion and the person who doesn’t.  Do me a favor- yourself, as well: strive to win.  Shoot for the stars- heck, aim for the outer reaches of space!  If you don’t make it once you’ve given it your all, then fine, but don’t allow yourself to be fooled into thinking life will give you a “participation trophy”.  Schools and some sports programs will do that for you right now because they say its good for your self esteem.  You know what’s better for your self esteem?  Winning.  Do you know who gives “participation trophies” and will worry about your self esteem in the work force?  That’s right- no one.

#5- I’m hoping your attention span has gotten better with age, but just to make sure I don’t lose you, this will be the last point I make for now.

As an adult, you’ll find that you might have a lot of regrets- things you wish you’d never said; things you wish you’d never done; girls you wish you’d never dated- and you might be tempted to say,”I wish I’d never done that; said that; known her” or whatever.

Don’t.

Everything in your life has helped to mold you into who you are- the good times AND the bad.  You learn from everything- God knows, I did.  the good times will teach you to be thankful for God’s blessings and mercies.  Those times when everything is bright and shiny and happy- its so easy to be thankful in those places.  But don’t fear the memories of the bad times- you usually learn more from them than you might think, and usually a LOT more than you did in the good places.  The bad times -the trials and tribulations of this life that push you to your knees and knock the breath out of you- they teach you patience, courage, bravery; heck, they can even teach you to have a sense of humor.  Without the bad times, you’d never know just how good the good times are.

So don’t hold onto regrets.  Look at them briefly and then hold on to what God gave you after.  Remember: “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”  If God allowed it, He did so for a reason and He’ll give you what you need to get through it.

I love you more than there are fishies in the sea!

Love,

Mom

 

Dear Pre-Pregnancy Life,

Today, while I was out shopping, I passed by a rack of size 12s and I thought of you.  Just for a moment- because the Mini-Master decided it wasn’t right that I should have my eyes anywhere but on him- but in that moment, a mix of emotions filled me like you wouldn’t believe.

I tried to deny the way that I felt, but all the great memories got to me.  I thought about the trip to Hawaii when we were 17 and how I had complained about my hips and thighs then.  I was 17- I HAD no hips or thighs, at least, not like now.  I had a teenage body, void of birthing hips and stretch marks, wrinkles and less than ample boobage.  I thought about that night when my friend was describing me to someone else and she used the words “flat stomach”.  Now the only time I have a flat stomach is when I make the choice not to breathe or sit down by wearing too-tight pants.

As I walked through the store, my eyes drifted to the purses, and I thought of my ever present addiction- the one I’ve had to put on hold ever since needing a diaper bag.  Even as trendy as diaper bags have gotten -and mine is PRETTY cool- they’re still diaper bags.  They hold everything, though, so carrying a purse as well is kind of superfluous.

I strolled slowly by the cosmetics aisle and I thought about when I used to put on make up.  I guess “used to” isn’t exactly correct; I still do occasionally, but its almost like building a sand castle near the tide now.  Why put on make up when its going to be mauled off by messy face kisses and grubby hands?

I looked over at the men’s aisle as I headed toward the electronics and I thought about how many times Date Night has been thwarted.  We used to have money to do stuff!  We used to have the ENERGY to do stuff!  We used to not need a sitter crazy enough to watch 3 boys so we could do stuff!

I perused the DVDs, looking for something kid friendly- KID FRIENDLY.  I remember when our DVD collection didn’t include a single ‘G’ rating; when we didn’t need to say,”We should probably wait til the kiddos are in bed” when deciding what to watch on TV.

Buying new stuff would have to wait, though.  I wasn’t here to buy a movie- I was here with a purpose.  I headed to the kids/ baby department for the wipes.

Dear, sweet, Pre-Pregnancy life- as I made my way to the back of the store, where all the baby stuff was located, I kept thinking of you and how even trips to the store were different back then.  Lingerie meant Victoria’s Secret, not Kohl’s Clearance; necessities meant chocolate and other junk food, not diapers, wipes, baby food, and Gerber’s Puffs; PJs meant Frederick’s, not cotton PJ sets from Kmart; and toys meant, well, nothing by Fisher Price.

I have to tell you, though- as I stood there, comparing prices on sippy cups, diapers, and wipes, it hit me what else is different about this new life compared to you.

  • I waste less time on TV.  Oh, sure, the TV is on, but as a kind of defense mechanism, my mind has tuned it out so as not to hear the constant chatter of cartoon characters.
  • My husband and I have fallen in love with each other in a whole new way and we’ve learned to get creative with Date Nights.  (To be honest, that was done out of pure necessity.  It was either get creative or start carrying around each other’s photo so we didn’t forget what each other looked like.)
  • And, also, to be honest, my diaper bag IS really cool.  I’ve had loads of people ask me where I got my “purse” from.  I don’t correct them.
  • And my body?  If I ever have the money or the desire for it, I can get cosmetic surgery, but I’m not really disappointed with my wrinkles.  The stress wrinkles are linear badges of honor, and laugh lines should be cherished- and my boys make me laugh.  A lot.

Actually, Pre-Pregnancy Life, a lot of the feelings I had while I debated the different sippy cups were feelings of thankfulness.  You never got to hear a 5 year old tell his 11 year old brother that girls are made to be friends- nothing else; you never knew the pride that can come from looking at progress reports (and making a mental list of private colleges to send such smart boys); and you never knew how sweet and extremely gross -all at the same time- it could feel to have your face mauled by a 9 month old that has just eaten breakfast.

Sure, some things changed when we parted ways, but right now, as I sit next to my youngest who is slightly snoring and listening to my two older boys singing a duet of “Lollipop” in the next room, I’m pretty sure I made out better with the exchange rate.