My family is a bit different. Ahem… Maybe we are a little crazy. Yeah…I don’t think there is any room for doubt on this one.
Sometimes we have tried to be normal. It just never really works for us. There were a few years there in the middle of all this that I was super-duper normal. Hey, I was the president of PTA for a few years. I drove the right car. I wore the right clothes, and so did my kids. Ugh….trying to force myself to be a soccer mom for the sake of my kids really sucked. Things are a lot better now. My kids know that I’m nuts, and they’re good with it. In fact, we all thrive now on being ourselves instead of cookie cutter versions of….. What??? What is it I thought we were supposed to be? A modern-day version of the Cleaver Family? Maybe that’s it. For a while, it was important to me that “others” perceived our family as GOOD. Now, it’s important to me that MY FAMILY perceives our family as GOOD. I like that a lot better.
I wonder why I used to care so much about what others thought of my life or my family? We’re nice. We don’t break the law. We keep our home and lawn are well maintained. Why did I care that others saw us “Perfect?” First of all, why would anyone take time to contemplate me or my family? And….if they did, then they really should be worrying more about their own lives!
I suppose it started out with the Mommy Thing. I wanted to be/seem like a good Mommy. I worried about looking presentable when I dropped my kids off at their morning preschool. I made sure to “get to know” the other mothers. I wanted to fit in so that my kids would be well liked and accepted. I wanted my kids to fit in. I remember when Andrew (now 22) began to have play dates with kids from preschool. One mother confided in me how horrified her dear little son had been when he had been visiting another child’s home, opened the refrigerator, and saw……BEER. Oh….My….God! I practically scoured the house for incriminating evidence before that little boy came to play with Andrew. I was scared to death that he would go home and confess some kind of outrageous behavior to his mother. I will say this, though, by the time Lola entered preschool, my attitude had definitely changed. I would have laughed at any little, prissy mommy who was afraid of the fact that her dear, protected child had been exposed to the mere sight of beer. I probably would have asked if they had offered her kid a beer. Is that what got little Johnny so upset?
It feels so much better this way. It is so freeing not to constantly worry about what others are thinking. Of course, I want to be a good person. I want my kids to be good people, too. That does not mean that I want them to live their lives looking over their shoulders to gauge everyone else’s opinion of them. I am a good citizen, and I want my kids to be as well. Having said that, I can honestly admit that I would NOT want to be our neighbor. There are too many of us. We own six cars. There is always music playing, either on the stereo or someone playing an instrument. Someone is always coming and going….up and down our driveway. Our family is always busy. Our house is like a zoo. Although six people live in our house, most often there are many more than six just hanging around. When I retire, I want a quiet place without all of this commotion!
This morning didn’t start out much differently than so many other Saturdays lately. T, Andrew, and I all woke up fully dressed in the living room. We had a slumber party, but didn’t even know it! We had all fallen asleep in various places while watching a documentary on Hiroshima. It was 6:00 a.m. when we woke up. One by one, we wandered out to the kitchen. T started a pot of coffee. Andrew made eggs. The noise woke up the other kids who thought nothing of coming downstairs to see us all dressed in rumbled clothes from the day before. This is a typical Saturday morning in our family. On Friday nights, we often just drop to sleep wherever we happen to land. T and I are worn out from the work week. The older kids are out later on Fridays, and we attempt to wait up for them. Most times they come home to find us crashed. When I woke up on the couch this morning, the first thing I did was a mental count of my children. Had I talked to each of them as they came home for the night. Yes. I remembered. They were all safe. All was well. As strange as it is to wake up dressed and on the couch, I love these early morning moments. There is no rush to get ready for work. Who cares if I didn’t take a bath before bed? I can take a Saturday morning bath and relax.
I love the freedom of a crazy family and a Saturday morning. Everyone has scattered from the kitchen now. They’re all doing their own things. T is playing slots on Facebook. Now that I have harvested my Facebook crops, I can write. Andrew is loudly playing his guitar. He and Lola just returned from their trek around town exploring the variety of garage sales on this Community Garage Sale Day. Emily is out at garage sales, too, with a group of friends, and Luke is already working on a side job he picked up to earn some extra college spending money. I need to let these moments of peace and “all’s right with the world” wrap themselves around me. All is good…..good enough. So I will relax and be happy. I will take a deep breath and be thankful for these wonderful people in my life.