It’s another crazy week at my house. On Thursday I fly to Kansas with my daughters to attend my grandmother’s funeral. In preparation, I’ve been planning outfits and doing laundry, coordinating with school so my oldest won’t miss any important assignments, making sure I’ve taken care of work so that my absence won’t hold up any projects, AND coordinating the youngest’s birthday party, which is set for the weekend after we get home.
I’m frazzled, sure. But I’ve also been experiencing feelings of pride. More and more, I catch myself stopping and thinking, “I am a grown-up doing grown-up things, and doing them pretty darned well.” It’s a nice feeling. We often talk about the nuttiness of our lives in posts like this, where we highlight the little things that go askew. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE laughing at myself and my fellow moms. If we didn’t laugh some days, we’d be crying in a corner somewhere.
But today I feel like celebrating the many, many times we get it right–when we make a special occasion great for our kids, just like our parents did for us, or when we make sure everybody’s had their check-ups and done their homework and is well-fed and safely in bed on top of pulling off a killer presentation for work. The fact that we’re able to give our families ordinary days when everyone has enough to eat and can enjoy each others’ company in a loving, if not immaculate, home is a Big Deal!
I don’t know why it took me so long to really feel like an adult. Having kids made the difference, of course. But more than that, it’s realizing that I can take care of those kids, that I can help provide for their needs, with my income, certainly, but also with the mom skills I never imagined myself having. I’ve begun to realize that they look up to me the way I looked up to my mom, as a steady, reliable caregiver.
I’m grateful for this because I know there are people for whom it’s not so easy. Any number of factors, in and out of our control, can knock things awry and make it difficult to be the parents we want to be. I’ve seen this firsthand, and that’s why I cherish the moments when I DO have it together, when I make it all happen, even if it’s imperfect or it stresses me out. Control is an illusion, after all, and there are times when being a grown-up is not fun. But I celebrate every day that I’m able to say, “I’m a grown-up doing grown-up things pretty darned well.”