July 19, 2020

you are enough

Last night, Perry asked me to lay with him in bed before he fell asleep. I wasn't feel well all week so it felt like it had been ages since I had put my head on the pillow next to his and listened to him chatting away about Star Wars and the audio book "Thor's Wedding." He clearly has a lot of passion and knowledge about both topics. And he will go on and on with just an occasional "oh really?," "that's so cool,"  "I didn't know that,"  or "uh-huh" from me. 

I am not proud of this, but while he was talking I absentmindedly picked up my phone and somehow ended up scrolling on facebook while he talked away. When I passed a video of one of my friends making a lava lamp with her two-year old, he stopped talking and started watching the mesmerizing experiment. He had actually brought home the same experiment from his day camp a few weeks ago. Except then I didn't know what we were supposed to do with it and never took the time to figure it out. So he carried it around for a few days and dropped something in it on his own. And then I threw it away. Now I understood what we were supposed to do.

The thoughts were streaming through my head at a rapid pace before I could stop them: Laura, you never do any cool experiments like this with your kids. You couldn't even help Perry and enjoy the moment with him when he brought this home to you. You suck as a mom. You never do anything with your kids. You are wasting your days with them. They don't learn anything from you. That's why they are struggling with so many things. You are always sick or busy. Look, you have these few minutes with your son and you aren't even present with him--you are on facebook pretending to listen to him. 

Stop. Stop those thoughts right now.

I closed facebook. Put down my phone and turned my head towards Perry. I looked in his eyes and he smiled at me and then continued his happy chatter. He paused and hugged me tight and asked me to stay longer.

My thoughts were steady and slow now: Laura, he is happy. He is so happy with you as you are right now. No, you do not do science experiments and fancy projects with your children every day, but you do other things. You have FIVE kids, not just one. You are giving your kids a good life even though it looks different from your friends. Your kids need YOU. Just as you are today. That is enough. You are enough. He is good. You are good.

Motherhood is not about perfection. There is not even a single right way to do things. There are many, many ways to mother our children. We try. We fail. We learn. We try again. But we never stop loving. Love our children, love ourselves, love our God. I think as long as we keep going. And maybe try to do some things a little bit better than we did before, it will be alright. They will be alright and we will be alright.