It’s so easy to look at other people and think “They have it all figured out.” Or “Everything comes easily to them.” Or “Why can’t I do things the way they do it, without so much effort?” Sometimes I wish we could pull a curtain back and see what everyone’s going through. The truth is we have no idea what’s really going on behind the scenes in anyone’s life. I mean, even my husband has no idea of ALL the errands, schoolwork, workouts, chores, personal hygiene, texts, “Likes”, and other activities I try to manage, and the meltdowns I have to manage in between (by both me and the kids.)
One thing people have said to me is “you always have such cute pictures of your kids!” Well, I am lifting the curtain! This is what I go through sometimes to get 1 “cute picture.” They aren’t edited, for obvious reasons and we aren’t even going to talk about his shirt “NEEDING” to be out and not tucked in. LOL
First, there’s the poses he wants me to take photos of…
Looking to the side AND to the front. I let him get out these wiggles because “if it’s important to him then it’s important to me.” And apparently balancing on one foot with a pouty face is really cool.
Then we tell him to put his arms down and smile, and he does EXACTLY what we say and looks super stiff…thought still adorable to me.
So we ask him to move his arms and he does this. (I feel like I could write a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book like this! If You Try To Take a Toddler’s Picture)
So we give him some help and he closes his eyes like he’s about to say a prayer. At least he knows what a prayer is!
We say “Say cheese!” and he gives us the one on the left. So I repeat “Say cheese while you’re smiling!” and we get the one on the right.
So I say “Open your eyes!” and he forgets to smile. I remind him to smile and…yeah….
Then I remind him and myself to relax. Relax. Breath. And we get closer…though he still doesn’t want to look directly at the camera.
Then we get his siblings and Dad to making silly faces. “Look at the camera!!”
Some fake smiles and fake laughing…
Then we get close!
And then, we get it. And I don’t care that his vest is squished or his shirt is out because he is relaxed and happy and that’s all that really matters to me. 10 minutes and 32 photos later we…
…have a keeper.
Most of the time we don’t show the 32 pictures it takes to get one good one. We don’t talk about how many times our child fell before they took their first step. We don’t make conversation about flossing or brushing. We don’t advertise how much debt we are in to have all the cars, houses, and toys we do. We don’t talk about the nitty gritty work it takes to get something done. We just see what we choose to. So and so’s kid is doing blah blah blah. She looks so great. They bought a (fill in the blank.) Their house is always spotless.
It really is silly! Because honestly, we are all children. We are children of God. We are all growing. We are allowed to make mistakes. We are going to and that’s OK. And we will ALL find success! Eventually. And just like my little Sammy deserved patience in this process, so do I! We all do!
That’s my new happy thought. “I’m growing. I’m allowed to make mistakes. It’s part of the process.” Doesn’t that sound forgiving and gentle? And PATIENT?!
Suddenly, my expectations for the day have totally shifted. My perspective of others shifts! It’s easy to see that we are all growing, no one has it ALL together, and everyone makes mistakes. So there is no start to the thoughts that others are better. And instead, there is a LOT more happiness.
“Patience is a virtue.” Patience is a process. I’M in process. I don’t have it all figured out yet and I don’t need to. Isn’t that wonderful?