I was in a BIG BOX Store the other day, hauling 4 kids (something I don’t recommend), trying to quickly get in and out, when the 6 year old decided he wanted to touch everything he passed. Since he was successfully grabbing everything, his little brother thought it would be cool to PUSH everything he saw. Things were flying off shelves faster than I could give them the “MOM LOOK.” You know the LOOK that sends shock waves of fear, without having to say a word!
In an effort to ease tension and keep us from being thrown out, I delegated pushing the cart to my 10 year old with the baby inside, while I grabbed 2 little boy’s hands and gently guided them down the middle aisle, quietly threatening their lives if they touched one more item; when a woman walked up, (you know, the kind walking slowly toward you, but you’re not sure why). She smiled and said: THESE ARE THE BEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE.
Now let me pause . . . because my first thought, was NOT Pretty! An Attitude of CRAZY wanted to rise to the top. As I slowly regained my eye sight, it was more like, Where’s the Roof, I May Jump. If this is THE BEST . . . I mean, The BEST, then we’ve got a problem.
I was hoping more for: “Hang in there, it gets better.” If someone dangles a carrot of hope, I can keep going, but telling me this is IT: We have arrived at the station! These are the BEST Days, left me exiting the store, like a deflated balloon. I could have walked across the street, never seeing oncoming traffic, thinking this IS IT? I’ve heard horror stories of rebellious teenagers; heck, I was one myself. But hearing, These were the Best Days, left me in a state of despair.
As I lay in bed, in the dark hours of the night, pondering what she meant, I began to access my life, our situation, the crazy, loud life of raising a gaggle of kids so close in age. I couldn’t help but laugh. I couldn’t help but review my circus-filled life of my 2 year old flapping her little chicken arm, trying to do an “arm fart” at the kitchen table, something she had seen her 3 brothers do. I laughed at the thought of my 4 year old playing the violin, still wearing his bike helmet or my 6 yr old writing the words: Left and Right on the top of his new tennis shoes with a SHARPIE Marker, so he wouldn’t forget.
If we redefine what is GOOD in our lives – these are good times, if we see it for what it is, and not the unrealistic expectations of what it could be. If we understand that our house is probably going to look like 12 people live in it, then our mindset will change.
Instead of taking things too seriously and always seeing the bad, the negative aspects, we need to lighten up and think, what would we do if the kids weren’t here? Ok, Italy comes to mind, but for the long haul, this journey we’re on: leading, guiding, loving; this adventure we’re on, eventually leads to them leaving the nest. Embrace the good, the bad and the loud; so the next time you are walking the aisles, gaining attention of judgmental eyes – smile and whisper to yourself: These are the Best Days of My Life, because they are MINE!
Here’s to Living the Best Version of You.