Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reality Skewed

I waltz down the staircase. 

Their footsteps follow close behind. 

Lovely pink dress pressed and ready for the day ahead, with white sandals tightened and clean. Her braids flop with each step, as her little sister follows close behind. The full skirt on her dress, bouncing up and down just as her little body does. 

Into the kitchen, we walk. They sit down at the table with breakfast sitting on each place mat. Vitamins, popped into open mouths, as I finish pouring glasses of orange juice. 

"Thanks Mom!" they respond in unison. 

I take a minute to smile then respond, "You're welcome my lovies. Eat up and then we'll take some pictures before school."

"Okay" Mo says, "I'm so excited for school today." 

Finishing their breakfast quickly, cleanly, and with little hesitation, they walk their empty plates and glasses to the sink. 

"Head out and get your backpack Mo!" I instruct. "Maeve go with your sister and we'll take your pictures for the first day." 

Cleaning up their dishes, I hear the cadence of Bryan's footsteps as he bounds down the stairs. Finishing we meet together near the front door. 

Mo holds the sign as the smile fills her face. She poses alone, then with her sister, as Bry eagerly snaps photo after photo of our two delightful little ladies. 

Glancing at the clock, I notice we have ten minutes, and suggest we head out. 

Into the minivan we pile, excited smiles shared between Moira and Maeve, as we travel the short distance to school. 

Interlocking their arms, the girls walk a few paces ahead as Bry and I follow into the open doors, as we prepare ourselves for the first day of four year old preschool. 

How was that for a first day?

Fiction, I say.
It's all fiction!

This year, the calm, the peacefulness, the joy, I would typically associate with back to school was missing in our home. In it's place, plenty of chaos, screams, and even a few tears.

It wasn't pretty.
It wasn't fun.
It wasn't anything I would put in the "proud category".

It's real life like that.

We did make it out the door on time, the only aspect of the above piece that was true.

I did get a picture before we scrambled out the door.

before the start of school.

The pink dress, the braids, and the white sandals were ready for the first day of school.

Mo was not.

I do this to myself, my kids, and my husband. I make myself crazy worried about silly little details and then rush around like a chicken with my head cut off attempting to play the role of perfect wife and mom.

Confession here, I'm not the perfect mom.

I scream too much.

I curse too much.

My patience is thinner than it should be.

My time as mom shouldn't be all chaos and running around with a camera in my hand, yelling at my husband and kids. It shouldn't be rushing out the door checking the clock, in panic mode. It shouldn't make my brow furrowed and my blood boil.

These moments happen but once.

For me, luckily the memory of that crappy first morning before preschool was soon forgotten, as two lovely teachers swiftly whisked Mo away into her classroom. The morning continued to improve with photos of the first day in the hall.

So maybe the first day sign wasn't there, but did it matter?

No. Not at all. Take that pinterest.

Instead of the forced, rushed pose, I got that real smile I melt over. That excited, giddy, joyous face of a kid excited for her first day of school.

That's what I need to remember. Bring out that smile, not the forced one Jac, because that's what she'll remember.

That's what she'll model.

That's what they need.

Linking up with Shell, and her fabulously cathartic Things I Can't Say meme.


  1. Ah hon, there is no perfect mom. Just like there's no perfect dad, child, husband, wife.... we'll all just fumbling along doing the best we can; sometimes reaching our goals, often not. I've had more than my fair share of days like this. Trying to make that ideal picture in my head come to life - instead of just enjoying life as it unfolds. The best thing we can do is to extend heaping amounts, I mean big PILES, of Grace to one another. And forgive ourselves.

    And it's true...they won't remember your less than fine days - Love Covers Over.

  2. Jackie, I swear sometimes we are living parallel lives. I did the same thing. Sign, put out all the breakfast stuff the night before, thought everything was "perfect" and ready. We all woke up late. I screamed almost all morning - hurry up, come on!!!! SMILE damn it!!! Look happy! And on the car ride I had the same realization. It's not about the sign, or perfect staged picture, or perfect breakfast, and perfect hair. It's about enjoying it. I am having a hard time with accepting that I'm not a perfect mom but my kids don't care. Our kids just want their mommies....perfect or not. :) Hugs!

  3. We're always hardest on ourselves aren't we? And when it comes down to it Jackie at the end of the day and when they grow up all they'll remember is that you were there to take them to school, give the freekin awesome b'day parties and hug them and tell them you love them each and every night and the million other things you do.....

    Perfect-isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'm still waiting to meet one person who is! And in the mean time I figure, what would we write about on our blogs?!

  4. I am SO the pushing, yelling, crazed to be on time, MOM! I hate myself whle I'm doing it. But I try to imagine that my kid will learn something about the importance of school, being on time, and not aggravating the shit out of your mom! It helps to know someone else's mornings are similar to mine.


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