I got to spend time with a good friend this week--one who knows so much about me that we simply pick up where we left off. In the four or five years since we've seen each other, we've navigated middle- and high-school transitions, full-time employment, relational quandaries, second-floor bathroom overflows that require holes cut into first-floor ceilings...the usual. There's an absence of judgment and an abundance of laughter. My petite blonde friend is raising three active boys, so her looks deceive: She has a core of titanium underneath the slim exterior.
We laughed about how lax we've become, as moms, as the years pass: What once would have sent us in a panic to the ER now merits an unsterile Band-Aid, haphazardly applied. She noted that a woman she knows refuses to let her boys play with pretend guns at home. But she has no problem asking my friend if her boys could come over to play with her boys' pretend guns. And, somehow, this woman is the better mom for it. Go figure.
The further I slog down the Mommy Superhighway, I'm finding I know less, not more. I thought my utter dedication and tireless supervision would keep life in line, but there's so much over which we have zero control. My girl's heart gets bruised with some regularity. Plans change, people leave, life is terribly unfair. I get crabby when I'm feeling overworked and underappreciated.
I wish someone would have told me early on that diligence is fine and all, but Easy Does It should be the new mom's mantra. I think I'd have fewer gray hairs and more good memories, less stress and more fun. I wouldn't have gone as ballistic years ago when I saw my then-toddler sharing her ice cream with the dog (one lick for her, one lick for him), or as wigged out over a 104-degree temp that barely slowed her down.
I'm hopeful, as Eve's Daughters progresses, that we'll have more stories based in an easier-going reality--of times when cereal suffices for dinner, when cleaning the toilet gets waylaid for a game of tickle, when an outing for $1 ice cream is doable even on the tight budget. When Easy Does It becomes a way of life.
How have you simplified?