The debate over how much people let you see on their social media profiles and Facebook photo albums has been hashed and rehashed. I don't know that I necessarily have much to add to the mix, but I wanted to share a photo. After a hearty, Saturday morning, cooked-from-scratch breakfast, we headed out on the road.
Now, one might interpret from that last line that I am haughtily boasting that I cook from scratch with each rising of the sun, using only the finest grains, etcetera and screw-you-miss-pretentious-perfect-pants. That would be the wrong takeaway. The girls ate breakfast from scratch because there was no milk to go with the cereal in the cabinet. The apples in the crisper were looking less than appetizing with dents and pock marks, and the yogurt had all expired.
It was a "Who wants French Toast?" kind of morning. I had thought I'd let them have powdered sugar and I told them as much, but of course I'd used the lone container of powdered sugar on cupcakes for a karate party last week. I had forgotten about the cupcakes, because I am typically the mom who declines to bring something, knowing my shortcomings. We had syrup, but only after the let down of, "You can have powdered sugar" with exuberant yips and then, "No, you can't."
After breakfast, I sent the girls out to play with the dog. It took less than five minutes for two of them to step in dog poop and the other one to get stuck in a tree. The morning continued along those lines, for every thing we tried to accomplish, something happened that was out of our control, but no less maddening. By the time we left the house, we were all in bad moods and running late.
Later, we stopped at a playground that Sean had scouted. It was incredible -- sun pouring through trees, water coursing past rocks and birch trees over a ridge, filling the air with its whooshing sounds. The play structure was wood, untreated and absent any bright yellow, purples or reds. It could be that perfect, look how wonderful we are image. I want you to know what it was really like.
Because there is always more to the picture, there is a subtext within the idyllic Vermont playground. You see us there, trying to get the hang of the tether ball? The ground around the tether ball was muddy. Sean had taken a run down the slide and soaked his backside to the point that he could actually ring water out of the denim. It was cold. Briar was complaining about scratches on her glasses. Ave was OK, but I'm pretty sure she is the one who had just hammered the tether ball into Finley's face. Notice how Finley's hands are clutched over her nose and Sean is giving her that, "You're OK," talk. As she walked toward me, I just kept my fingers crossed that when she lifted her hands, there would not be blood.
She came to me and I held her until she stopped crying. We spied a small garden plot and decided to go over and investigate. The walking and the wondering about the garden taking her mind off the pain and embarrassment of the ball-to-face episode. Once we made it to the planters, we discovered onions and corn, purple lettuce, and old cucumber vines.
We were squatting down to get a closer look when we noticed a plant that had three perfect water gems resting inside. Since Fin's birth, I've searched for signs of three. I find them so often when the girls are not with me, that when I find them when we are together, they feel extra special.
"Fin, do you see that? Do you see the--"
"The three droplets? Yes, I see them, mama." She said beaming.
We leaned in together and counted, "1, 2, 3, F.A.B."
Sometimes, even if your pants are wet, your mood is kind of grumpy and your face hurts, life can still be honestly magical. Maybe take the pictures you see with a grain of salt or, perhaps allow yourself a moment to believe that maybe the trick of it all is to feel like there can be smatterings of perfect within the mess.