My daughter’s second birthday was this last weekend, and as we ran around desperately trying to get everything together for the party I didn’t really feel like having, for someone who wouldn’t know the difference but our society loves to see anyway…I felt like a total failure. I couldn’t even have my ish together enough to not have to plan this thing last minute, like seemingly everything else in our lives.
And seriously, what kind of a mom doesn’t feel like throwing a birthday party for a two year old? They’re adorable, all dressed up and impressed with literally everything. There is constant, absolute wonder in the eyes of a two year old.
What kind of a mom can never get her act together enough to at least have an idea of loose details of what needs to be gathered before the eve of said birthday?
Just once, could I maybe be a good mom? One that loves to dote on her birthday girl so much, that she even called ahead to order balloons for pick-up? Not that all of the decorations need to be handmade, but maybe…just a couple this time? My non-attempted pins keeps screaming at me.
Nope, not this time either. I waited in a long line for those balloons, an hour before the party. Picked up an ice cream cake on the way, decorations thrown into brown paper bags for transport and hopes to have enough time to assemble at least some of them on-site.
Guests started arriving, and I was still setting up. The first toddler that arrived burst all but one balloon. I forgot a pen and notebook to make notes for thank you’s, and the breeze kept knocking over the table décor I managed to get on the stupid picnic table.
Whoa. Wait a minute. Is this thing about decorations, or about the chubby-legged girl twirling next to me, in her pretty dress and Ariel tiara?
“Baby, you’re so beautiful! You’re getting so great at your twirls!”
She looks up at me, absolutely beaming.
She doesn’t know it’s her birthday, she doesn’t remember her last one. She has no idea why these people are here, what gifts are or where they should be set up, or what decorations are out.
She just knows her mama told her she’s beautiful. Her mama smiled at her and said she does great twirls.
No matter if your child is two or twenty-two, or how often you make a note of how you messed up, there is literally only one thing your child will ever care about.
How present you are.
As a mom that struggles with depression, I constantly get wrapped up in the small stuff, and how much I’m failing at all of the stuff. Most days, it’s a struggle to understand that it’s not the small stuff that matters, it’s the small one in front of me that matters.
It’s on my difficult days that I have to show up most for her. It’s the days that the only reason I got out of bed is because she can’t get her own breakfast and if I let her run the house I’ll be spending so much time scrubbing red marker off of everything later and it’s not worth it to feel sorry for myself to have to deal with that…those are the days where snuggles and movie commentary rule life.
Some days, I’m super mom, playing at the park after library story time while dinner is in the crockpot. Other days, we’re just so busy or I feel way too lousy. But any day, the only thing I need to worry about is being present.
No matter what form it takes that day.
There will be plenty of other times I can impress friends with a cute party. There are only so many times I get to show her what she means to me.
Make sure to embarrassingly squeeze the stuffins from your own babies today, no matter if they’re two or twenty-two. 😉
Have you had to re-evaluate the scope of your attention recently too? I would love to read about it in the comments!