I pulled my three year old outside and walked around the block with her, barefoot, in order to avoid the full-on battle zone that was unfolding in our house. I took many deep breaths as I tried to remember why I loved being a mother.
I looked inside all the other beach houses and fantasized about families that seemed to be having a grand old time on vacation. I berated myself for being a terrible mom and an ungrateful brat. Why couldn’t I just be happy and enjoy this time away?
It spiraled into ugly town big time, with all sorts of feelings of guilt and failure screaming at me from the corners of my brain.
After the walk I went inside, hoping that my husband had managed to calm down our seven year old and that some semblance of peace had been restored.
Near tears, I asked my mom, “How come all these other families seem to be happy and able to control their kids?” She lovingly laughed and reminded me that “They’re all yelling too, behind closed doors. We all have our moments.”
Exhale. Give big hugs to my kids. Forgive myself for once again forgetting I’m human and perfectly imperfect. Laugh at myself and kiss my husband. We f-ed up again, but they’ll turn out okay.
We just got back from our annual, epic road trip. We clocked 4,825 miles with our 3 and 7 year olds. We spent a month away from home. We stayed with family every night except for three. #roadtripwarriors
It was awesome and it was awful.
We read books at the beach, took a boat out on a lake, had BBQs with friends, swam in pools with cousins, ate amazing food, and slept well.
We also lost our patience, yelled at our children, forgot to be grateful, got annoyed at our family, and sat for butt-numbing hours in the car.
I’ve been asking myself, what’s the wisdom in all this?
And, as always, it comes back to relationships. Every. Time.
We want to have amazing relationships with each other and our bigger family. We want to really feel connected to them, even though we live far away. We want to share experiences and make memories.
Relationships are messy. We humans screw things up. We lose our patience and wish we could swallow our words. We feel hurt, jealous, or resentful. We long to say how we really feel, even when it’s scary.
We want to love fully and feel loved fully.
So, we courageously wade in the muck and do our best.
Next year we’ll retire this annual road trip tradition (because, well, airplanes rock), but we’ll still be showing up to visit, connect, love, and occasionally yell.
We’ll still be perfectly imperfect in our fierce pursuit of human connection and awesome relationships.
As always, thanks for being a part of this conversation and inviting me into your crowded inbox. It means the world to me to share these stories and insights with you, and to hear your stories of growth and connection.
Happy sunshine and summertime,
P.S. My first book is coming out in the next few months, eek! Been writing my butt off and pushing my own courageous edge. Can’t wait to share it with you. More soon… xo