Happy Friday!!! I’m sitting here covered in art drawings, newsletters, planners, and picture day forms and realized I have officially hit adulting status. At the grocery store today I was checking the sodium content on lunch meat, sandwiched between two elderly ladies who kept asking me questions about my favorite lunch recipes. Apparently, one forgot her glasses and the other was checking out my ungroomed eyebrows with “that look.” You know the one. The one that is like…..”if only this poor girl knew the importance of having a good arch.” I quickly told her I had 4 boys, hoping that would explain my lack of time to go to the salon. She then touched my forearm and leaned in and said, “Oh bless your heart that is A LOT to deal with and you look much too young to have 4 boys.” I assured her it was because I use an expensive face cream and that I was giving away 50% of my offspring for adoption if she was interested. She laughed.
The whole point of this story….if there even is one….is that if you had asked me 15 years ago what would make my day in life it wouldn’t have been talking to an elderly woman in the grocery store about face cream. If you ask my 29 year old self now….that’s exactly what I would say.
In my brief stint as a therapist, I worked with mostly elderly people and I learned so much. I learned that one of the greatest gifts you can give someone at that age is not just laughter but a real look into your life so that they can connect with you. The moment I told this sweet woman I had 4 boys and was giving them up for adoption…her eyes lit up with humor and you could see she was remembering a time in life when she felt the same way. She was taken back to a time filled with laughter and joy and utter mayhem. A sentimental smile crossed her face when she patted my arm and told me to “enjoy these days and those boys are lucky to have you.” For a moment, I gave her a gift. A gift of memory and sentiment. A gift of a smile and a laugh. But she gave me something more. She gave me a compliment that every single mother on planet earth longs to hear…”those boys are lucky to have you.”
I never feel like my kids are lucky to have me. I feel over worked, over tired and like a complete loser compared to most other moms. My kids spent the summer watching me work instead of going to theme parks, movies, camps, activities etc. I often feel like our complete unique life is maybe too unique and that I’m screwing everything on earth up. My kids are underweight (its genetic but still) my youngest is behind on vaccines, I missed scheduling my older ones yearly physical, I am living on gardettos and cold pizza and my eyebrows most definitely need grooming.
But then I look down at these papers that are scattered all over my desk and on my lap and I see good grades, high marks, sweet compliments and think “Man, maybe I’m not screwing it up after all. Maybe I got really lucky in the kid department…but maybe I’m actually teaching them something. Maybe I’m not as big of a screw up as I often think.”
An abstract piece of artwork falls from the stack and it’s beautiful. Colorful, bright, fun and perfectly my kid. I think art reflects people’s soul and if my kids’ souls are that bright and happy then I will definitely go to sleep okay tonight.
Tell each other you’re doing a good job, make someone smile, give someone a gift of memory, a gift of kindness. Everywhere you go, go with an attempt to uplift someone. Use the smallest of ways to shine a light on this world. You just have no idea who’s day you might just change.