Do you see this picture? This crazy, fuzzy, motion-filled, imperfect picture?
This depicts life in our home.
Someone recently said something to me about how I must only show the highlights of our life as a family of four. I can understand why she might think that. But it honestly irked me.
There are a few reasons for why it irked me and it's taken me some time to digest and navigate.
First, life in our house is far from perfect. Of course it can't be perfect! There are four personalities attempting to live under one roof. Four needs and wants that aren't always met. That makes for a lot of lowlights (the opposite of highlights) and shadows, and tears, and unpleasant moments.
Secondly, I find it disrespectful to post pictures of any of my children crying, screaming, or in any way unhappy. I'd be incredibly upset if someone posted a picture of me at my worst and mocked me for my emotions. They don't have access to social media now, but one day they will, and I want them to feel comfortable knowing that I haven't embarrassed them or shamed them for being human. I've done my best to embrace those emotions in our home, but it won't happen on social media. We have journals we are writing to each of the kids and I will write those things personally, if/when needed.
It's not that I want to paint the picture that life is only full of rainbows and sunshine. I'd love to tell you that's all I've experienced in this life, but it's just not true. Life is messy and dusty and new. Life can be full and empty. Life is hard and broken. Life is soft and fixed. Life is sharing, giving, and taking. Life is a daring adventure.
I once read a quote that said, "Behind every good kid is a mother who's sure she's screwed it all up." Or something like that.
I get to the end of every day and wonder, and pray, and hope that I've not ruined everything. Hoped that there would be grace where my edges were raw, where my emotions flipped for little reason, and that my children would know, first and foremost, how deeply they are loved.
My social media sites are full of what I want my children to know and remember and hear. It's full of what I want to savor. It's full of the goodness I want to seek, the moments I want to cherish, and the celebrations that should be lavishly enjoyed. I share my heart here, but it is certainly censored for our own privacy and to respect those I love so dearly, and myself.
I choose wonder, hope, and light in the midst of it all. If I didn't then I'm not sure how I'd get out of bed in the morning, or rest my head at night. These years won't last forever and I want to slow down, enjoy, and notice them.