Today was a banner day in this Carrick household. We woke up late. Well, I didn't, but I was slow going and my children wouldn't. wake. up. My oldest daughter was 5 minutes late for her last summer intensive ballet class (on the day promotions were scheduled to come out so she really didn't want to mess up). My youngest was still sleeping when I put her, pajama-clad, into the car, hastily grabbing some clothes to change her into once we'd arrived and found our right minds. Fast forward ten minutes: I drop my daughter off at ballet, and head to get gas, while my youngest is in hysterics because she doesn't want regular clothes, just her sleeper, and she's hungry and tired and "just wants my iPad for a minute!" Fast forward again, 15 minutes later, and she's contentedly munching on a banana, we're finally headed back to the studio...and I realize I grabbed everything for her but shoes. And now we don't have enough time to go back to the house for shoes before my coffee date with a friend. Not to mention my two younger ones are getting along GREAT, because the middle didn't want to leave the studio and the youngest is still finding something or other to cry about.
*waves white flag meekly in surrender*
Oh. my. goodness. It's going to be a good day, indeed.
I am not even kidding you, I cried three or four times, in public, by 11 o'clock this morning. It's just one of those days, and I can deal with that, but of course it's happening when I'm finally getting to have coffee with a friend who I haven't hung out with one-on-one in yearS.
This is real life. It is MESSY. But, it is honest, and frankly, that's better.
I show up, carrying my nearly five-year-old into Starbucks because she doesn't have shoes, and sit her and her sister down at a table, trying to quiet their protests for this drink or that, trying to keep them from hitting each other, trying to get my phone to load Netflix...trying to hold it together so my friend doesn't go running the moment she walks in the door. (Hey, I wouldn't blame her! lol)
This is real life. It is MESSY.
BUT, I have to say, if it weren't for that coffee date that I nearly cancelled because of how awful the morning had been, I might have spent the entire day in and out of tears, tirades, and tiredness. But I needed it - mess or not. Because that friend embraced the mess. She was amazingly patient while I had to constantly stop the conversation to stop the girls' fighting; she saved the day by letting them upgrade from my phone to her iPad so they could see WAY better. (*insert hard eye roll here*); she laughed with me over my series of unfortunate events that morning; most of all, she didn't care. She said she was glad I shared with her how it had been. How I didn't have it all together. Because sometimes - often times - we DON'T have it all together. And we need to see that in ourselves and each other because it is literally a life-giving truth. I was a mess. She didn't care. If she'd been a mess, I wouldn't have cared. Other than to embrace the mess with her.
We need to be more honest and open about these moments in our lives, because everyone has them and no one deserves to feel alone in it.
Maybe this is coming out in a big, rambled, run-on sentence, or maybe not. But it has been sitting on my heart since I walked out of that Starbucks an hour and a half later, feeling like so much weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Yes, we talked about a lot of things that had been weighing me down for months, but the immediate effect I felt was because I was hit (once again) with the truth that I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to be presentable. At least not all of the time. ;)
This life is C-R-A-Z-Y, and that's just something we have to accept. If it isn't, it's probably because we're either not pushing forward and trying to grow, or we're no longer breathing. It's difficult, but it doesn't have to be impossible. It's messy, but it doesn't have to be destroyed beyond recognition.
I realized today that I've been hiding in my messy season, trying to shield others from it, when in reality, I was shielding myself from the support system I desperately needed (and still need) as a mom, woman, and friend. That's backwards thinking but how often do we slip into that train of thought?!
I also realized today that if I'm so willing to embrace others in their mess, I need to be willing to be embraced in mine. It goes against my nature, but it's the only way to be genuine, and to have genuine relationships with others. If I want REAL fellowship, I have to be REAL.
And so, on this banner day of mine, please feel free to laugh with me. If you need to, cry. If you want coffee, I'm here. I can't promise what state my house, day, and life will be in, but I promise that I will embrace you in my heart, and welcome you in my life. We're in this together.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” - C. S. Lewis