Sunday, September 28, 2014

# children # life

Unexpected Perspective

Sometimes life opens your eyes in ways and in situations that you never would have expected. That's what happened to me this past week. I looked into the week expecting one thing and came out in a totally different place; a place that never, in my oddest dreams, would I have thought.

Tuesday was my birthday. For the past few months, I planned to spend the entire week with my best friend. Late Friday night, he messaged me and said it wasn't going to happen. To say I was crushed is the understatement of the century. I was devastated. I sank into a depression like I haven't had since I began my medication. To put it bluntly, I was lost.

Then, on Monday night, I decided to help someone else. My birthday was a lost cause, in my head, so why not give that time to someone else who could use it. On Tuesday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and headed to Pittsburgh. I'd never been there before, but this wasn't a tourist trip, it was an attempt at helping someone else save their own life.

I won't go into details because the details of their life aren't important. Let's just say that they were in a bad place and I felt that I was in a place where I could help improve things for them. They needed to prepare to move and I'm good at packing and they have 4 kids and I'm good with those too. It almost felt like this was what I was supposed to be doing.

I don't know if that feeling was right or wrong, but things didn't go how I thought they would go. I thought we would take the boxes that I had brought with me and pack them. When I walked into the house there, I sighed in relief because it would be easy to pack up within a week (their deadline). When I walked out, I walked out with 4 boxes packed because the two oldest children and I packed up some of their toys.  When I walked in, I expected to help take care of the four children, ages 9, 6 and 16 month old boy-girl twins.  I also expected it to be difficult because their mother acts like it's hard to manage that many kids, at those ages. When I walked out, I had fallen in love with four beautiful children who were a joy to be mom to for those four days. I realized that those children had become an excuse, in a difficult time, but to me, they will always be a bright, shining light in this world.

What I realized on the long drive home was that life isn't always what we think it is. I went into that situation thinking I was really going to be helping someone.  I walked out realizing that I had been taken advantage of and yet, I had no regrets because who I did help were four children. They will probably grow up and forget me, but I know, in those days, I made a difference to them, even if it were just in that period of time. I showed them that they can be loved, that nobody has to be left out and that even with all of them, there's nothing that can't be done.

I also realized that I can do more than I've let myself believe that I can do. Yes, I have limitations. I also have the ability to find solutions. Yes, there will be bad days, but that just makes the good days all that much more special and important. If I can take care of four children without batting an eyelid, I can take care of my own home and life. If I can be a better mom* to those four little ones, give them the love and attention that they deserve, maybe I'm not doing such a bad job with my own two. My life isn't perfect, but whose life is? Life can be tough, but if nothing else, four days away with four angels has taught me that I'm pretty darn tough myself. I can do this.

So, while maybe I didn't get what I expected, I did get some unexpected perspective...


*Better mom = better than I give myself credit for. It's easy for me to see the negatives in my own life and allow myself to sometimes think I'm not enough for my boys. By no means do I mean better than the four kiddos mom. She's actually a bit of a rockstar for going through what she is and keeping her kids from running amuck.

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