I was watching the news last night and saw a commercial for a flower shop. They were trying to sell pretty flowers and hanging baskets for Mother's Day and their big catch was, "Where you can turn every moment into a memory."
I have a few problems with this.
1) You're selling flowers. Having a basket of flowers in my house doesn't make everything awesome. They're flowers, not a never-ending supply of plane tickets and free passes to Disney World. Settle down, people.
2) We have to get over this idea that every moment spent with our spouse or our kids is going to be magical and beautiful and worthy of a Hallmark card. We have to stop perpetuating this myth that if life, marriage, motherhood isn't a Pinterest-worthy collage of sunshine and rainbows and a one-of-a-kind unicorn purchased on etsy thrown in for good measure, then we aren't doing it right.
I love my kids. Oh goodness do I love them. I would love to have about 300 more of them to love and snuggle. To watch those wobbly first steps and listen to them read their very first book with tentative voice. To kiss those chubby little tootsies and sing silly songs together. Motherhood is a gift I thank God for every day.
You know what? I also get irritated with my kids. I lose my temper. We have moments that are the opposite of magical.
And that's ok. That's life. Life happens, love happens, family happens in the regular, daily interactions.
Yesterday we were sitting around our school desk. Audrey and I were doing her spelling lesson while Isaac wrote a thank you note. We were laughing about something when Audrey's laugh turned into a snort and then Isaac called her Suuuu-eeeeeyyyy and we laughed even harder. Then Audrey decided she should snort every time she finished one of the words on her spelling test.
Nothing happened. It wasn't a spectacular moment. It was just a silly little afternoon of school. And I loved it. It makes me smile even now as I think of it.
Earlier in the day one of the kids had a nice little fit about folding laundry. And I had to ask another kid to set the table approximately 33 times. And the toys on the floor didn't put themselves away. Weird, huh?
But guess what? I loved them anyway. I still made their lunch and read their favorite book before reading hour, sang lullabies and helped them wrap birthday gifts for friends. Just like they still love me when I mess up.
Not magic. Just life. Just love.
As mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, dads, husbands, brothers, sons, friends, humans we are going to get it wrong fairly often. Sometimes the mistakes will be small and fixed with a simple "I'm sorry." Other times we'll mess up in a big way and hurts will dig deep. That's when we find out who really loves us. Who's in it for the long haul.
Me? I'm in it for the long haul. The dreary rainy days where we all get on each other's nerves so I offer up a game day and then all the kids argue about which game to play and we finally make it to dinner and they all grumble about what we're eating and bedtime comes and I fall into the first chair I see and sigh a big sigh that we made it through the day. The first summer day spent at the beach where life is at its very finest as the breeze tosses our hair and the sand melts through our fingers and the sun warms our shoulders and the waves lap our toes and our cheeks hurt from all of that smiling . I want my kids to know it in their gut and feel it in their heart. I want them to know that when they make their biggest mistakes and celebrate their biggest victories and all that stuff in between, I'll be there for them.
There are perfect moments. There are moments when my 10 year old son is snuggling on the couch with my 8 month old and this happens: "You are so advanced. You grabbed the purple X. This ball goes crinkley crinkley. Hi, Boo Boo. Isaac is holding you. Uh Oh. Bye Bye, toy. You dropped it. Oh, you want the orange star? Mom, Asher doesn't suck on things as much as he used to. But he still drools like a dog."
There are moments my 7 year old is having a hard day and she says, "I can always look at you and know it'll be ok."
There are moments my 5 year old dons his baseball cap for the first practice of the season and his smile, complete with dimples, is about as close to perfection as I'll get.
There are perfect moments. But it isn't perfect.
It is love and grace and forgiveness given and love, grace, and forgiveness received. Every day. Every hour.
It is life. It is family. It is love.