Yesterday, I bore my soul and you guys responded with just the world’s greatest outpouring of love and solidarity. You guys rock, you really do.
I don’t know if this matters, but I wanted to share the “why” behind yesterday’s post. Not what inspired it, I think we all know what (or who) inspired my little break down, but why I wrote it. I’ve been reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, and recently watched her 2010 TEDxHouston talk (yay for TED talks!). In her talk, she shared that the word courage comes from the Latin word “cour” which means heart. Courage, she says, is telling the story of who you are with your whole heart.
I love that.
So yesterday’s post, and truly all my posts, are my effort to be real with you. To be vulnerable. To have the courage to share my story. All of it.
The good stuff isn’t shared to brag, but because it’s part of my story. The bad stuff isn’t shared so you will feel sorry for me, but because it’s part of my story. The confusing stuff isn’t shared because I’m helpless, but because it’s part of my story. My victories aren’t shared to stroke my ego, but because it’s part of my story. The defeats aren’t shared because I feel sorry for myself, but because it’s part of my story. And so on and so forth.
This blog is my story. The story of me, my family, my yoga, my struggles and strengths. The books I read and the food I eat. How I feel about pickles (huge fan) and corn of all varieties (ew). How I feel about The Black Keys (ahh, just love them so much) and how I feel about Beyoncé (I’m sorry guys, I just. can’t.). I share random facts like, “Hey! We don’t own a microwave!” and less random but hopefully more useful information like how we spend time together as a family. That sort of thing.
I share my story because my story matters. Your story matters. And I hope that the very act of sharing my story inspires you to share yours. Or at the very least, I hope sharing my story shows you that your story is worthy of sharing for no other reason than it is your story.
So yesterday was me sharing a hard look at something I’m struggling with. Hey, it happens. But today, well today I want you to see the other side of my crazy life with three kids. The fun side. The side that is so out of control that I just have to laugh. Because laughter is a huge part of my story, not only because I love to laugh and make others laugh along with me, but because it’s also been promoted to “how I survive my life” since adding a third kid. People keep asking me what it’s like, having three children, and I usually don’t say anything at first, I just shrug my shoulders and laugh.
What’s it like having three kids, you ask? Well…
…It’s me, sitting on the sofa, nursing Beatrice. Meanwhile, Oliver is on the floor, crying because he ran head first into a piece of furniture (screaming, but not actually hurt). At the same time, Theo yells out from the bathroom, “Mommy! I’ve got poop on my shirt!”
…It’s bundling all four of us up midmorning with snow boots and winter hats to head to the park, with Beatrice in my Becco carrier sound asleep and the boys running up ahead of me like the little puppies they are. It’s hot cocoa in a thermos for them, and coffee for me. It’s watching Theo slide down a slide covered in ice and all of us dissolving into hysterical giggles as he shoots out the end.
…It’s walking into church twenty minutes late every.single.Sunday.
…It’s a van that felt HUGE this summer, and not so big now.
…It’s tiny little voices saying, “baby seeester!” and “good morning Beatrice!”
…It’s packing the kids into the car and turning around in our seats to look back at the children and think “Holy crap there are three of them.”
…It’s going to the ER with your oldest and breastfeeding your youngest while the medical staff rushes in and out to take care of your child, while you continue to keep tabs via text on your middle child who is in the care of grandma.
…It’s a baby that always needs fed as we are supposed to be walking out the door, and a two year old who always needs his diaper changed at the same moment, and a four year old who can get himself dressed until the it’s time to leave and then suddenly “can’t” get his socks and shoes on.
…It’s two boys in the tub and a baby in the sink.
…It’s asking Theo to help give Beatrice her bink and watching him walk over and soothe her with such tenderness it makes your heart melt.
…It’s saying “stop poking her in the the eyes!” to Oliver for the ten millionth time.
…It’s a mommy and daddy occasionally giving the boys dinner early and packing them off to bed before sitting down to eat themselves, just so they can have a few moments of adult conversation at the table.
…It’s no longer caring if I have to put on a show for the toddlers in order to get a shower…or get some laundry done…or just because I’m so, so over it. It’s also no longer saying things like “Oh yea, sometimes I let the kids watch a 15 minute show.” What lies! Let’s not pretend. We roll out two or three episodes of Jake the Pirate before I start to feign concern about how much screen time they are getting.
…It’s letting whoever is dumb enough to just show up at my house unannounced stand and ring the doorbell until they decide to walk because I’m not dressed and neither are my kids and my house is a mess and you can call first if you want me to open the door!
…It’s mommy holding baby as she watches daddy read a bedtime story to the boys.
And it’s also this:
One bedroom, five people. It’s a mommy returning to bed after nursing and settling baby and asking, “are all five of us in here?” A babe asleep in a basinet by my side. A toddler in the bed with mommy and daddy because he is still reeling from a scary trip to the ER. Another, smaller toddler asleep in a crib at the foot of our bed because he followed big brother into the room.
It’s a room full of tangled arms and legs, sleepy eyes and heavy heads. It’s a room full of deep breathing and baby coos (and snoring!). It’s a room full of flesh and blood and life and love.
It’s a whole lot of togetherness. It’s a mommy and daddy exchanging meaningful looks over the kid’s heads. It’s smiling because what else can you do? It’s feeling the fullness of all the people crammed into one space. It’s also the quiet acknowledgement that soon everyone will wake up. It’s secretly wondering “can I do it?” as you think about all you need to do. It’s knowing that you won’t get any of it accomplished. It’s knowing that it’s going to be hard. It’s knowing that it’s going to be worth it, because it’s already been worth it. Every. Single. Second.