It's not rare to find us at a play date during the week, or a family dinner on the weekends, maybe even a dinner with friends if we're feeling extra brave. We attend Collin's basketball games occasionally, and sometimes we'll go out to a local restaurant for dinner. Wherever we end up, it looks mostly like this: we arrive in what feels like a clown parade, and while I visualize it going perfectly, everyone holding hands while we cross the street, or maybe a single file line to our table, using manners or waiting patiently, it rarely looks that way and it certainly never feels that way. While there, the kids play, they'll go off on their own or play with friends, but the conversation, without fail, is always broken. There's interruptions, there's owies, there's hangry, and there's always a diaper situation. I tend to walk away from these play dates, these dinners, these outings, feeling completely scattered. I feel like I wasn't able to fully listen to her story, or really process what I heard, or give an educated and thoughtful answer to a question. I left my drink somewhere or didn't clean up the kids mess fully. I probably couldn't even tell you what I ate half the time, because it was more like a "hurry up & eat before someone needs me" meal.
I think to myself "maybe it's true" when people say "my, you have your hands full!" (which I hear every time we go anywhere... making me want to shove my full hands in their full mouth). I often replay these events in my head on our way home, wondering if I could have been more present or more aware, If I should have disciplined differently, or did I give my kids enough attention? It's a condition, I suppose, the classic "should have, could have, would have". But you know what? I still leave feeling full, feeling happy and proud. I have healthy kids, I'm overjoyed by the things they say and the sweet kisses they have for me. I'm blessed to have a husband who works SO hard for our family which allows us to do little things like going out for a meal or having coffee dates with our friends. All of these things I feel, these feelings of being scattered, of not having it all together, of virtually losing my mind... those are the things that make me who I am. The people that make me feel that way are also the people who make me feel who I am the most. They make me a mom, they make me a wife, they make me a friend. I'm learning to accept this season of my life, and to take it a step further and make no apologies for who I am and where I am. It's true, we come in like a hurricane, we'll probably leave a plate on the floor or a mess in the toy room, and we might even leave a diaper behind. I'll likely forget something and somebody will always need clean clothes when we get home, but we did it. We got out, we spent time together or with our favorite people, and most of all, we're living life in our destiny. This was God's plan for my life, this was my dream from the youngest of ages, and while I had no idea the depths of this job as a mom, I also had no idea the depths of the blessing. I'm fulfilled, I'm happy and I'm totally scattered.
I suppose we're a bit like confetti, happy and bright but always a bit of a mess.
And always a party! I'll take it. Because one day, I'll have time to drink a cup of coffee without reheating it and I'll probably even have time to get groceries without my kids. I'll be able to get dressed without considering the ramifications of a white shirt. I might even have time to get a pedicure AND a manicure in the same day. And you know what, I'll miss these days. I'll miss the chaos, I'll miss the mess and I'll definitely miss the slobbery kisses and nap time snuggles. So today, I'm accepting the noise and the chaos, and embodying them. This is who I am and where we are. Confetti.