The picture was terrible. Just terrible. But, then again, selfies were likely invented by someone younger than I am.
After several chaotic hours with my children, I decided that the real cherry on top of our day should be special. Go hard or go home, right?
We ventured to the local Wildlife Center in a muggy 90 degrees for their daily show. Thirty minutes of educational entertainment for $0 sounded like the best idea I have had in weeks. My son was thrilled.
So excited, in fact, that he improvised and stuck his tongue out when my thumb finally found the capture button.
In comparison to all that would transpire in the remaining hours of our day (think vomit and Comet), I look back on this photo and see how truly perfect it all was.
My daughter, who is almost walking, may never squirm like that on my lap again.
My son, who is understanding life more every day, may not feel as carefree with the boundaries tomorrow will enforce.
Sometimes I consider it all: the heat, the lack of showering, the pressure to be “ON” so that my young children will become respectable human beings.
When I look at this picture – beyond the wrinkle-laden and disheveled visage – I see a raw happiness. I am entirely consumed by motherhood.
This, of course, is not the kind of image a mother wishes to project on social media, and that further inspires me to share it. This is why I love parenting: I get to live a life of meaning when I look (and often feel) my worst. If I am loving, I am serving. What follows are just pretty (and petty) details.
Even better, my name will be written in bright lights on the hearts of two little people – the only critics who should matter.
If you are a parent, take pictures with your kids when you feel beautiful AND when you feel disgusting because that person you see reflected will remind you of why you desired children in the first place.
Joy is never rehearsed.
And those kiddos, they unsettle just enough to remind us that we can be loved, we can matter, and we can change the world…perhaps because the perfect selfie isn’t within reach.