We are knee-deep into birthday season over here as four of my five kids have birthdays in the span of about three weeks.
It’s like Christmas in the summer!
Each kid gets three presents and a special birthday breakfast of their choosing and a birthday cake. Each kid needs some semblance of a party and special activities as a family throughout the day and this year two of the kids get to have a party with all their friends.
Fourth of July falls right in the middle of it all and a few weeks after that it’s our wedding anniversary and in just a few days more both my husband and I have birthdays…
And then it’s back to school!
Then Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas…
Moms, isn’t it easy to get caught up???
Isn’t it easy to get lost in the shuffle of planning and managing and buying and organizing and preparing for the next big event to come along??
Our consumerist culture only fuels the fire since the very second Fourth of July is over all the school supplies hit the stores and back-to-school commercials flood TV. That’s how it goes with every season, right? We’re still sorting out miniature candy bars on Halloween night when Christmas songs begin on TV and then when Christmas morning arrives we’d better get ready to whip our bodies back into shape and buy some closet organizers.
We do it with milestones too. Always thinking that when the kids get older or once they’re all out of diapers or when everyone finally goes back to school or we hit whatever big milestone is next on the agenda then I’ll…whatever that might be.
Our brains somehow trick us over and over into believing, “If I can just get this one thing done, if I can just get to THERE…then I can slow down a little bit and enjoy myself and be happy” but the very instant we get to whatever THAT THING was, we’re on to the next thing.
Big events are so fun and special and full of wonderful memories. But I’m convinced we are placing too much importance on the BIG events…and it seems there is another BIG event always looming around the next corner.
I’m afraid I’m missing it you guys.
We’re missing it.
The truth is most of our lives are lived in the ordinary moments every single day with the people standing right beside us.
Most of our days are not BIG EVENT days.
Most of our days are ordinary.
Most days are filled with breakfast dishes and packing lunches and sunscreen and curling up on the couch with my 4-year-old and his smelly blankets to watch cartoons.
Most days include popsicles on the patio and walking our dog in what probably looks like a kid parade and picking raspberries fresh off the bush just to pop them into our mouths with dirty fingers.
Most days involve endless games of UNO and noisy dinners gathered around our kitchen table and little boys shooting baskets in the backyard.
Most days play on repeat with naptimes and bath times and bedtimes. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Most days look like swimming lessons and Fortnite and orange crush floats and reading with them long after dark.
What if I’m so busy looking ahead and planning for the next big event and keeping my eyes on the prize that I’m missing the beautiful, ordinary moments right in front of my face??
Sure sometimes it’s boring and exhausting and ordinary and slow…but this is LIFE. This is where our memories are made. This is how we form lasting relationships with our babies. These are the most precious moments of our lives.
I don’t know about you but that gives me a sigh of relief!
It doesn’t have to be perfect! We don’t need to put monumental effort into picture perfect holidays at every turn! We don’t have to continue striving!
And when it all goes wrong and the kids fight and I lose my mind because of the constant mess and constant bickering and constant noise…well, I can just move on to the next beautiful, ordinary moment to come along five minutes from now!!
I’ve only had 13 birthdays with my oldest. And just a few Christmases with my youngest. We keep hearing about “Only 18 Summers” and it can make me feel a little panicky! But, you guys, we don’t have to stress!
Because how many nights have I spent talking with my teenager on the way home from basketball practice, just the two of us riding together in the dark? How many times have we laughed and talked and spilled around our kitchen table as a family? And how many evenings have we all lined up on the couch to watch America’s Got Talent or The Simpsons?
It’s amazing really…how many beautiful, ordinary moments I am blessed with day after day after day. I don’t want to miss them!
Let’s just live our lives.
Let’s just notice the beauty right before our eyes.
Let’s just revel in the present and be content with exactly what we have in front of us at this very moment in time.
This is enough!!
Right now. Right here. This day. I can slow down a little bit and enjoy myself and be happy…in the ordinary.
I try so hard to just be ordinary, on purpose.
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