I went for a walk the other day and you know what I love?
Not necessarily that you have to make a decision on where to go next, Lord knows I can’t make a decision worth a lick. Ask anyone who knows me. I’m like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz…
Rather I appreciate that it seems to give permission to pause. A much needed pause.
I tend to get super intimidated by long walks on long paths with no seeming end in site. No place to make the appropriate, “I’m fine, really” break…
I like to lean up against a tree, stop sign or even the occasional but randomly placed bench and huff and puff.
The other day was no exception. I was leaning up against a light-post sucking down a bottle of water, when I heard some fast paced steps behind me. I turn to see a bouncy jogger bouncing up and down next to me. While I had chosen to stop and rest at the corner, this individual had kept her cardio going and continued to bounce while the light stayed red. I thought I could TRY to look the part, she might be on to something, so I started a light bounce myself. Well, it only took 30 seconds of a few half bounces before the bottle of water swooshing inside my gut gave me jabbing cramps and I was now bent over heaving with strange sounds. The two of us could not have been more opposite. She gave me a weird look and darted across the road when the light changed to green where as I looked like I needed an oxygen tank and a wheelchair to get me anywhere.
And that my friends, is how I feel as a mother these days.
I have re-written this post a few different times. The first time I attempted a bit of a parenting DIY. Ha! It ended up being a bit of a joke when I realized how ridiculous it sounded that I would even begin to advise people in this area.
Then I mulled over it, and upon rejection of supposed “How Tos”- I began feeling quite bad about my current state of mothering and proceeded to eat a lot of ice cream.
So I attempted another version. Me and my pint of ice cream divulged into more a long winded diary entry where I vented about all my failures and faults as a matronly individual. I read it back out loud and realized no one wants to read that.
So, I let it sit a while. I paused. Hence why I am finishing this post today… the day AFTER Mother’s Day. :O)
Back in high school, when we were learning how to type- we practiced with a keyboard game that had a runner jumping over hurdles. When you succeeded at the home keys, or stated set of letters, your virtual runner soared into the air, breezing through the obstacles before him/ her.
On the flip side, when you punched an incorrect key, your runner would fall and make this “oof” sound. It was kinda of funny. Actually, it was really funny. I once got in trouble for making him “oof” for 5 minutes straight.
I am feeling a bit like there’s someone punching the wrong keys these days. I see that hurdle coming, I feel like I’m kinda sorta ready for it- but then next thing you know I’m laying flat with an “oof” sound.
This past week, with teacher appreciation and May’s calendar exploding with dates to remember, things to attend…I saw some serious hurdles approaching.
But what I also realized was that when I SEE those uphills and obstacles ahead, I tend to LOSE perspective quickly.
I heard in church yesterday that, “disaster can often occur when there is a loss of perspective.” My pastor went on to say that many airplane fatalities have resulted from pilots unable to see the horizon ahead, therefore losing their perception on where they actually are in relation to the ground and sky. Inevitably ending in a crash…
Boom. What a visual. And it was exactly what I needed to hear.
When we are headed into the trenches, we often think we are alone, that the problems are bigger than we can handle and that there is no end in sight.
Sounding familiar to any parents? Any person out there?
In my life, the term “Hills and Valleys” can appropriately describe my day to day.
The battle JUST won can frequently yield little to no rewards on the next encounter with life.
JUST when I have conquered something, had a little victory, succeeded in some small area- the very moment around the corner has a cartoon roadrunner waiting to toss an ACME anvil on me.
Obstacle: Buy all teacher appreciation supplies in 4 hours
Race prep: I had mapped out my route and memorized 4 different teacher surveys. I was ready.
Race route: Michael’s, Target, Dollar Store, Home Depot ( quickly for Adam) back to the Dollar Store and finishing at Walmart
Race results: NAILED IT… grabbed everything I needed to get through the first couple days and even sorted the supplies by teacher on the dining room table with cute printed out labels from Pintrest.
Ready for the children to help.
I felt on top of the world.
The feeling continued throuought the day, and even into the kid’s bedtime.
I flopped down on the couch, ready to reward myself with some Hallmark, when Autumn sauntered quietly into the room. She was holding a notebook entitled, “My Days, My Dreams.”
She handed it to me and whispered “I just wrote something new in here. Would you like to read it?”
I love that she is my little writer, so I happily agreed. She snuggled in next to me and opened to this page.
I looked at her and with instant tears, I apologized.
She smiled a half sleepy smile, and hugged me again. She said it was okay, and then sauntered slowly back upstairs.
What had I done?
I thought I was the best mom in the world. THE WORLD. For a few hours at least…
And then I saw this.
I let her down. In her exact words, I “forgot.”
I was running around like a crazy woman, attempting to properly and Pintrest-worthily “Thank” every Tom & Sally.
I “oofed.” And I was laying flat.
And after an hour of ugly crying, and Adam’s repeated “You are a good mom…” I went to bed, head pounding and heartbroken.
I was certainly beginning to listen to the voices in my head saying “you can’t”…
But I woke up the next morning, (popped some Advil followed by strong coffee) gave Autumn an extra big hug and told her I loved her. A lot.
And she bounded off to school, cast and all.
Kids are crazy resilient.
I share this to help reiterate my own “full of faults” humanity, and encourage yours.
We are NOT PERFECT.
We forget, we mess up, we fall flat. We “ooof” all the time.
But just possibly…if we try to live our lives with love at the forefront, then maybe it doesn’t matter as much about how many times that we all fall down. I pray we all receive the strength to always get back up.
I beg you to pour your love into your children day in and day out. They may roll their eyes at you, push you away, or even respond with silence. You may flop down on the couch over tired, unappreciated and ready to give up.
But do you know what I’ve decided? Your own children are your biggest fans. To them you are a super hero who is busy soaring high one moment and then falls flat the next.
But isn’t that all proof that you are trying?
Marathoners tell their families and friends to bring their A-game with signs and fog horns to the toughest part of the race. Why? To keep them going. To remind them how far they’ve come and how close they are to the end. To give them Perspective.
Who doesn’t need a cheering squad?
A pep rally?
We all do.
And life will not be without it’s hills and valleys. The tough times are inevitable. Especially as parents. Watching your children navigate through these dark places is downright dreadful. But please remind yourself and those you love-
That you are never alone.
The battles you face are not forever.
It will be worth it all in the end.
Go on & finish this race. 💜
I’m not the marathon running type- in fact, I’m waiting on my 0.0 bumper sticker to come in…
But look for me on the sidelines, at the closest intersection, leaning up against the stop sign… cheering you on. Every day.