Knowing this, you would think that I would have my sh*t together and the house would be decorated all cute and I would be putting my very best 'Martha Stewart' forward.... but sadly, that's just not the case.
Today I demonstrated my amazing Mother of The Year skillz by *finally* taking the kids to a pumpkin patch. There are only like... a dozen really great pumpkin patches located within 5 miles of my home... but today - in the rain, was the first time we actually went to one of them.
Oh... and as you'll notice, I have yet to buy The Boy a new pair of rubber boots and The Girl is wearing her beloved pair of Peppa Pig boots that were sent over by the everawesome Lashla nearly two years ago. They are nearly three sizes too small... but she stuff her little toes in them anyway. lol
Of course, the nice thing about going to a pumpkin patch in the rain is that almost no one else was there. We've been to the Roloff Farm in the past (that's just a few miles up the road from where we live) but they are only open Friday-Sunday. So we went to Baggenstos instead - which is a few miles in the opposite direction.
They have a playground and a hay maze and a hay ride - and honestly - they had really, really nice pumpkins, too. Still all plump and round and fresh looking. The Girl picked out her pumpkin fast, running in and out of the pumpkins, zigging and zagging until she found the 'biggest' one she could carry.
The Boy took a little longer, he wavered between the biggest one to the smallest ones.... eventually, he chose a big one. I grabbed a nice round one and then we lined them up and waited for the Hay ride to come back around and pick us up.
The rain was coming down, but we didn't mind...... which - was a little bit comforting. Standing in the rain, me in my pink ballet crocs, The Boy in his green grocs and The Girl in her everholy Peppa boots - somewhat prepared with coats and hoods, and somewhat exposed to the muddy elements.... and yet: we were content.
Actually, we were more than content. We were HAPPY.
We were laughing and yelling and the kids were jumping up and down in the mud. There was mud all over them and me and our poor, round, fresh looking pumpkins.... and I guess I forgot to get mad?
I forgot to be worried about the muddy clothes and what that would mean when I put them back in their car seats. I forgot about how the mud would squish between my toes and feel yucky.... I wasn't pretending' either.... like - trying to let it go because I'm 'the cool' Mom or whatever.
I just didn't care. The mud, the rain, the clothes.... it's all superficial stuff. It can be rinsed out and sprayed with shout and washed clean again. We just stood out there in the rain, having a fantastic time.
I wasn't thinking about all of this until we were back in the car heading home... and it struck me that (and I almost hate to admit this) but we were happier in that pumpkin patch than we've been in a long time.... even at Disneyland. It was how life *used* to be. I used to be 'that' Mom who didn't care about stupid sh*t. At all.
I didn't own toys I cared about getting broken.... I was the kind of Mom who *wanted* her kids to jump in muddy puddles instead of 'staying clean'. I think I've forgotten about that lately... wrapped in everything that's gone wrong and in the pain of the loss of it all...... I forgot who I was as MOM. Damn. How'd I miss that?
There we were in the rain, only partially prepared and totally exposed.... and still totally happy.
It's a bit of a metaphor for our lives.... the three of us, totally not prepared, totally exposed... and yet: not happy, still struggling to find our happy place together. And I think I know where I'm going wrong.
I'm buying all these books and ebooks and reading and reading until I fall asleep every night. I read the books to *try* to help me/us be more prepared for what's happened, for what's happening and what *will* most likely happen in the future.
Sometimes, there just aren't enough coats to keep you dry from the rain, or boots thick enough to keep your feet dry... sometimes, you have to stand in the doorway and think to yourself, "Sh*t, this is the last day to go to the pumpkin patch, we're sans boots for The Boy - so it's green crocs or nothing at all.... so crocs, sox and wet feet it is!"
And just GO.
Just go and laugh in the rain, and don't worry about the mud, even if it gets in your toes and on your clothes. So long as the mud stay's on the outside.... then it's easier to laugh, knowing you can wash them later.
I think that by constantly being worried about our 'outsides' and trying to 'prepare' - which I'm learning that there's no way to prepare, no way to truly keep the 'emotional mud' and pain away from us. And may be I shouldn't be so worried about that.... may be I should just focus more on finding new ways to laugh .... just like today - even when I'm standing in the mud and rain.
The kids don't care if life get's a little muddy, if we're all soaked to the bone - so long as we're together. So long as we're laughing and having fun.
May be I'm drawing too much attention - in my attempts to 'protect' and/or 'prepare' us, - to the 'emotional' rain and making things worse.... drenching us - or even drowning us - in that pain. I'm not saying I'm to blame for the fact that it's raining, so to speak, but the truth is that it's my fault that we're not laughing and making the best of the rain.
Time to get our laugh on.... I'm usually pretty good at that....
When we got home, I unloaded our pumpkins and put them on the porch, all lined up, ready to clean and carve. I noticed that instead of being the usual various sizes - big, medium, small and tiny - as we would get them when we were a family of four - this year all of the pumpkins are the same size.
It was accidental - each of us picked out our own and I didn't notice that they were all one size until I got them home. But there they were, all lined up: equal. Like us.
Sometimes, you just run out the door in your crocs expecting to get wet, buy a pumpkin and come home... instead, you find yourself rethinking your entire outlook on something while standing in the rain with muddy toes. Time to stop caring about the mud, and the rain and the clothes - the 'superficial' of things and focus on the inside's - the love, the laughter and stop giving a sh*t about the things I can't change.
Instead of going to the pumpkin patch on all those sunny days before today, we were there, in the rain.... but like I said, Oregonians do it better in the rain.