it’s a small life, after all

by humanmama on September 14, 2015

It’s back to school time! A fun, nerve-racking time. I like this time of year so much, except that it’s like the Sunday night of the weekend–it goes too fast, it’s packed full of activity which makes it hard to take the time to enjoy it, and the weather’s always perfect but there’s always homework. Just life, I guess. And it’s now halfway through September, which means in ten minutes it’ll be Halloween and Thanksgiving and BOOM next year before you can even say “Father Christmas.”

This time of year always makes me a little introspective. Possibly because, as a mom who spends a lot of time staying at home with kids, I have kind-of a small life, in the fall. My day begins when the kids wake up (really? It’s dark outside, honey), and it ends whenever I want! Well…whenever I want, right after all the chores are done and the kids put to bed, the dog fed and walked (hah! hah! Walked. Hah! [wipes tear away]) or at least let out the door for a few minutes. The lunches packed and the slop from today mostly cleaned up to make way for tomorrow’s parade of messiness. My life is small and it’s mostly right here, and sometimes that can really wear on your soul. You think about being in college and thinking “Man, I can do ANYthing with my life!” and you think about running away, or at least walking away, way down the street for several minutes because I’m serious this time, Mister.

This time of life is sort-of an interesting balance between absolute heartbreaking beauty and love for life and absolute desire to just go to a bar and get totally, totally hammered. Or whatever your personal escape-a-la-mode might be. This are the years of looking at your sleeping children, heads damp from sticky sleep, and taking a deep breath of their absolute innocent peacefulness. And also, the years of looking at the clock six times between five-o-clock and five-fifteen pm thinking even if I had a place to escape to right now I couldn’t even go. It’s a scary time, I admit, because you’re town between so many emotions that are so extreme and in such competition with each other that some days I’m exhausted from doing what basically could seem to the casual onlooker as almost nothing at all.

Since it’s my life it does seem important, most of the time. It seems like these things matter! But sometimes I can get a sneaking suspicion that these things do not matter, and that’s when it’s easy to let the bitterness creep in. And there’s no real solution to keeping positive about all the daily crap that you have to do, I’m sorry to say. Sometimes in life you just have to get through the absolute shit parts to see if there’s a pony stashed underneath, or if you’ve been shoveling for no reason all along.

THAT’S why there’s instagram. And facebook. And twitter. It’s not just for teenagers and celebrities, not just for sexting pics of your junk to old flames from high school. Nope, it’s also for putting crap like this out there, into the world, so people can tell you “Hey! That’s a super freaking cute kid you have there!” or “Your furbaby is adorable.” It’s for getting validated out in the mystical space of the internet, for someone to say “GREAT JOB AND KEEP DOING IT! DON’T ABANDON YOUR LIFE JUST YET!” because the feeling that is put into the world by your photo is something that someone wants to keep feeling. Even if it’s not you, today.

So please, Keep those first-day-of-school, those dog-shaming photos, those #catsofinstagram feeds coming. It’s putting a little more light into this small, small world of mine. And you know the rest. I’m gonna let it shine.


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