Before having a family, I'm sure I had thoughts about what it would be like. What I wanted it to be like. What TV told me it would be like. What my own experiences growing up had shown me it could be like. I'm sure I imagined the traditions we would have or the things we would do or the places we would go. I'm quite certain I had high hopes and unrealistic ideals and lofty plans for how perfect and wonderful and yes-this-is-all-I-imagined-it-would-be that my life with a family would be like.
I can't recall now any of the specifics of those imaginings. As any parent knows, I've learned that some of my dreams were a bit over-the-top...because, you know, kids and balance and responsibility and motherhood and reality. Because no one tells you, while you're dreaming away, that parenthood is every kind of wonderful... but WOW is it hard.
But for whatever I thought it would be like, there was a moment today where I breathed in deep and saw that this - this is everything I dreamed it would be.
We're on day eight of spring break, which translated means I've had eight straight days at home with all three kids. To be clear, this isn't a bad thing - not in the least - but it can be a challenging thing. Thankfully and wonderfully, we've had a pretty great week (more to come on that) and today was really a pretty typical Saturday for us. Errands, library visit, lunch, nap for Ruby, family movie at home, pizza picnic, video games, and bed.
It was during Ruby's nap that I had this moment - a moment of clarity. This. Basketball was on TV and Brad was both watching it and working on taxes. Drew was deep into one of his new library books, and Reed was hopping between books and coloring and playing and back to books again. I, too, had picked up some books for myself at the library (making myself a reader again) and instead of running throughout the house working on some chore that was begging to be done, I sat. And read. And I looked around me. And yes. This. This is it.
It was common. Nothing fancy or sophisticated or planned or over-the-top. It was peaceful. I felt content and happy and full.
And in that little moment, I discovered all that I ever hoped I'd find.