Spontaneously, I loaded my two year-old into the car and drove north. We would travel over an hour to a small town with a gigantic children's consignment sale. Big sister missed the adventure because was off at school, but we'd make it up to her with an entirely new wardrobe for the next school year. And then, my little one and I headed to a perfect little gluten free bakery and feasted on sandwiches and cookies. Actually, her cookie was free because they thought my kid was so darn cute.
It was a rare Friday when I let work melt away. The multitasking I did was the usual mom stuff, not the crazed mompreneur stuff. I sized up jeans and picked through special occasion shoes while trying to keep a toddler from filching any toys. It was blissful.
What a beautifully boring story! In fact, it's not a story at all.
At best, it's an Instagram caption. You might feel connected enough with me to be happy that I enjoyed this sweet little oasis in the midst of the mess.
At worst, it's a self-congratulatory status update. You dismiss it as just another mompreneur spreading her sunshine about her wonderfully well-balanced life. Who cares if it's true. It just feels like white noise.
To make this into a story, I'd need to steal the sweetness of the moment
This really was a crazy nice day. My eyes welled with tears as I just let my love for my little girl wash over me.
And yet, I was painfully aware of how fleeting this all was and how quickly my six year-old had outgrown these spontaneous excursions with mama. If I let myself blink, I might find that four years have passed and I'm a mother of elementary school kids and I'm all alone on Friday mornings. My chest tightened just to think of it. (And I dismissed all the stress around "I never have enough time to work!" because that is a whole separate issue.)
I don't want to cast a shadow over this experience. I want to remember April 15, 2016 as pure and perfect (especially since we had gotten our taxes done in February!).
But, if I wanted to dig deeper, get real, and find a story in this outing I'd offer up Brene Brown's ideas about "foreboding joy." After all, there's a heck of a lot of juicy material in:
When we spend our lives (knowingly or unknowingly) pushing away vulnerability, we can't hold space open for the uncertainty of risk, and emotional exposure of joy. (Daring Greatly)
That's where the story worth blogging about is hiding - it's in the inner conflict I experienced. Lucky for me, it's my job to teach you about story, not about navigating the contradictions of parenthood. (I'll leave it to you to write into the rich and difficult topic of foreboding joy and the other worries that threaten the sweetest of days - goodness knows this story proves we parents need help figuring all that out!)