the reality of it all

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Sometimes you do something for your children even though it requires a lot of work and clean up and bending over.  (The last one is especially burdensome lately.)  In the process of doing that something-special for them, there may be complications and whining and everything just might go wrong.  You may get frustrated and wish you had never had the idea.  You may sit back once everything has finally settled and analyze what went wrong.

And then, as paintings are drawn of American flags and liberty bells, and blues and reds are mixed together to make purple for the first time for one of your children, and the littlest ones experiment with watercolor washes and show you their dripping art proudly, you finally begin to let go of the frustration and embrace the moment it turned out to be.

Sometimes the moment is realized right then, other times it takes a few hours or days to see it clearly.  This seems to me as the great, continual lesson of mothering.  The anticipated, perfect planning gone wrong--or maybe--simply lived more realistically.  It is the realistic side of parenting that forces me out of the picture-perfect mentality that I really want sometimes.  When at the end of the day, remnants of the events and activities of the day are strewn across the floors of the house as a reminder not of the cleanup to be done, but of the reality of childhood at work and play.

Thankfully, the lesson of reality slaps me in the face most days with four little girls.  For that reason, I've learned that the slower and more intentionally we live, the more we see and feel of life right in front of us.  I've felt more joy and peace this past month by intentionally slowing myself and turning off the constant rush that is built into my system--the feeling I need to catch up, move onto the next task, and keep going and going.  I've noticed the change lately, my husband has noticed the change, and I'm sure my children have noticed a happy, more relaxed, spontaneous mommy.

This has been and will continue to be one of my greatest accomplishments, once cultivated, of my life when I look back someday.  I'm sure of it.

I hope you have a meaningful weekend with those you love.

the sleepy time gal