I am on overthinker. I am someone who thinks about my place in the world. I look at other people, and in comparison, it’s as if I see myself as a character in a play. Sometimes, my friends seem more adult, more in touch with adult responsibilities: they forecast their financial situations; they have already figured out their children’s college expenses; they have babysitters that they call nannies.
How do they do it?
And then I have a day like today, and I realize that as much as I feel like a child playing dress up, I have a great deal to show for my life.
I am a mother. The greatest accomplishments of my life are these three girls. They are all an extension of who I am, and yet, they are individuals who are inherently unique. Sometimes, when I am overcome with awe, awe that these girls are like me but not me, I pray to God that I will be present to watch them grow, to change, to become adults themselves.
Today, I awoke to Lizzie pulling on my shirt sleeve. “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.” My right eye opened long enough to focus on her. She was already dressed for the day in her new dress, and she was holding a present that she obviously wrapped.
My eye shut again. A second tug at my sleeve. “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. It’s 7:46. You should open my present.”
Without opening my eyes, I knew she was not the only one with a one-of-a-kind gift, so I said, “When your sisters are ready. I will open all the gifts at once.”
Satisfied, she turned, left our room, and went looking for her sisters. “Carson? Maggie?” She yelled for them as she went down the steps.
She was so excited that it was Mother’s Day, I could not help but smile. I remember this same feeling as a child– wanting nothing more than to give my mother a homemade gift, although I knew no gift could ever express the intense love and admiration I felt for her: it was a token gift to remind her of our impenetrable bond.
Within minutes, the girls were situated on our bed. I sat up excited because they were excited. I received a cherry blossom tree, a vase, a cookbook, a book of poems, and numerous cards. As a mother, I must admit, each and every gift was my favorite.
After I opened my gifts, we all just kind of hunkered in. The girls were giggling, the dog was snoring, Tom was tired and slightly annoyed. As I assessed the situation, I realized how lucky and happy I truly am. Our life is ordinary, willingly ordinary, and from years of experience and observation, I have come to realize that a blithely ordinary life is sometimes the hardest life to create.
After an hour, we got moving. Showers. Breakfast. Coffee.
It was my Mother’s Day dream to have family day, so we went to the Great Lakes Science Center. As a family, we explored exhibits. Among the many interactive displays we explored today, we were reminded about light infraction, sound waves, and NASA’s impact.
As a self-declared observer, I stopped many times to watch them: their innocent inquisitive natures wanting to touch everything, do everything, and explore the unknown.
It was a couple of hours of simple family fun.
As I said, I am an overthinker. My life is small. Seemingly, in comparison, I have given my children less material wealth than I had at their ages. Sometimes, I think that many of the people I know are better off than we are.
I have more than I could have ever dreamed. My youth may have had more material possessions, but never did I feel so sated, so complete, so vibrant. My life is full of laughter and love. On this Mother’s Day, I realize that I am not really playing at life, but instead, I play in life.
I am blessed.