Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Normal Kind Of Gift

I'm an unconventional mom. I know this about myself. I just don't parent in a normal way. Well, not in a traditional way. My parenting style is way too relaxed to be main stream. I'm not strict about much. Maybe 3 things total. If my kids text me from school asking for lunch, I take it. 98% of the time. I rarely make my kids do chores and our dinner conversations would make you blush. And that's not an exaggeration.

I just feel like we sway to a different beat over here. If I wanted to, I could try to change that rhythm. I've threatened my kids oodles of times that I'm going to really amp up this mother role and really get to it. Those words are usually met with eye rolls. Because, really? They know me. I know me. This is the way we flow. All wonky and off-kilter.

But I have this deep soul kind of hunger to be normal. At least every now and then. My mind knows its just too much of a stretch, but I wish for it anyway. But then, I stop, just stop, and look around. And I realize that normal is a pipe dream. For anyone. Normal starts and stops within these walls, with these people I adore. Normal takes my unconventional parenting and turns it into enough and just right.

It's the season of Christmas cards. My honest to goodness fave. It's like presents in the mailbox. It's all our friends and family showing their best, normal selves. And all those normals start to pile up until it makes your own family feel a little less than. Because, look at everyone's accomplishments! And their dressed up beauty! And let's not even mention all the Christmas home tours on the web and Pinterest. There's no way my house matches up with any of that. I can't even keep it clean.

I don't know what it is about this time of year. It's a recipe for the good and the ugly all bundled together. There is so much wonder and there are also heaps of stress and guilt. It's like we can't have one without the other. Maybe we're supposed to wade through all the difficult stuff so the important stuff shines that much brighter. It's a weird combination.

So, here's what I have to relearn every year, right around this same time-- We're all normal, and extraordinary, and good. We're just doing it in our own way, in our own time. We are fighting to keep it real and plowing our own path tightly holding hands with these people we love. We're in it together. All the way. For always.

That's what the holidays are all about. That path. The one we're on with our families. The one that looks different for each of us. The one that brings the greatest joy as we build it together. One normal step at a time.

Enjoy it. Take the time to see it. Above the gifts and the cards and the stress, really see it. Take your people close and let them feel your love. That's magic transformed. The kind of magic that a baby in a manger gifted to us all. Let's share it with those that matter most.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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