Sunday was sacred. No plans for this on-the-go-all-summer family. Exhausted from attending a family wedding the night before, swim and dive meets all week long, all four of us were happy to have nothing on the docket.
Big home cooked breakfast, reading in bed for me, Pan Am games on TV for hubby and kiddos, a second pot of coffee, all still in pjs at noon. Slow. Easy. Perfect. Like I said, sacred.
Somewhere around three in the afternoon hubby proposes a family walk with our dog. We all agree. In between putting on our shoes, getting the dog leash and figuring out our plan a fight insues. The kind with words and attitudes, snappy tones and snarly remarks. Somehow we all cracked. Next thing I know I am telling my son, “You are acting like a little shit.” So much for sacred. So much for winning Mother-of-the-Year.
We agree to walk anyway. Son and hubby linked in arms behind daughter and me. We head down the sidewalk. Daughter grabs my hand. Full of gratitude that my thirteen year old even wants to hold my hand after I was nothing near my best self moments earlier. With the temporary ugly parts of the day melting away with each step I turn around and see my boys smiling. Full of more gratitde I am struck by the beauty of this messy life. The spills of family hearts, splayed open, vulnerable, raw, imperfect.
“Look at us the perfect family walking down the street all linked together.” We all laugh. Hubby starts skipping. There we are skipping and laughing.
“No one would know I swore at my youngest just minutes ago. Everyone knows we are the perfect family, never fighting, always getting along. Look at us, the picture of perfection.” We all grin cheesy smiles at one another. I lock eyes with my son as he untangles hands with his papa and in unison we apologize. I tell him he is not a shit. He says his behavior was and that he is so sorry. We figure it out, we forgive, we walk with hands joined skipping and laughing.
The perfect family with warts and all. Stumbling, getting back up, doing it all over, finding our better selves, beginning again. And again and again. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jenny Gwinn McGlothern is a Certified Transformational Master Life and Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader and Writer. As founder of Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, she is passionate about all people, not just mamas, receiving an authentic physical, mental, emotional, spiritual refill. She says, “One cannot pour from an empty cup,” and offers her clients the possibility and power of pouring for themselves, first. She is also a Transformational Educator at Seattle Life Coach Training (www.seattlelifecoachtraining.com), where the school “trains to transform lives” both personally and professionally. You can find her on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill and visit her website: www.mamaneedsarefill.com)