I used to be cool. I kept up with the styles, my hair was brushed. I'd even wear a little makeup. I knew what restaurants were hot. I'd actually go to a movie that wasn't rated G. People around me thought I was pretty with it.
Recently, my coolness factor has gone down a bit. Or maybe I just don't care how cool I am anymore. My priorities have changed. My wonderfully honest husband says, "Honey, you've never been cool. You just knew how to fake it really well."
This got me thinking. I constantly see people around me that appear to have everything together. I'm talking these soccer mom types. They drive what appear to be spotless vans, have kids with spotless clothes and faces, and I assume go to their spotless homes everyday where they have warm chocolate cookies waiting. When I see these certain moms, their hair is always done, makeup on and they never forget their kids show and tell.
The other day, I took the kids to the river. It was hot so we all got in the water. Water means mud,dirt and grime. Sun means hot and cranky. We stayed until around noon. At this time, I had to make a decision. We had no food at home. I had to go to the store. Do we go home first, clean ourselves up? Or just head to the store filthy and cranky? You can guess what I decided.
So we head for a quick trip to Trader Joe's. We all had on old clothes. Sophia had no shoes. I looked down at Samuel and he had mud caked on the side of his legs, arms and face. My shorts were still wet. I prayed we would not run into anyone we knew. Both kids were in foul moods. I wanted to get in and out as fast as possible. We head straight for the free samples. I was hoping for some type of cookie to keep the kids occupied. But no, a wafer with a slice of beef. I'm not kidding. That certainly was not going to keep them happy. I got some of the free coffee for me and tried to ignore the whining. Sophia was getting a little too loud so I ran to the snack aisle to look for something.
Crap. I really didn't want to hear my name. In and out was all I wanted. No conversations. But no, it was one of those always put together moms. I wanted to sink into the floor.
"How's your summer going?" This was said in a very loud voice over Sophia's crying.
"Good. Is Samuel at a camp this week?"
"Samuel, Samuel?" Where did he go? So here I am, one kid crying, the other one nowhere to be seen. I'm wet, dirty and just want to get the hell out of the stupid store. I don't want to be talking to this woman about what summer camps keep the kids for the longest hours.
I finally get out of there with both of my dirty kids and some groceries and a promise of a play date that will never happen. As I was backing out, I happened to look at myself in the rear view mirror. I had a huge streak of dirt clearly visible across my cheek.
I could of let it get me down. But instead, I laughed. It was funny, after all. And I know these women are not perfect. They just fake it a lot better than I do. And do you know what? It's so freeing not having to be perfect. I can have a messy house, a messy car and messy kids. I can jump in the kiddy pool with my clothes on. I can feed them cereal for dinner. And I'm still loved. Loved by my family but most importantly loved by my perfect creator.