hard times, pretty pictures

Life is beautiful, painful, and awfully complicated sometimes.  I am climbing my way out of the pit (or more accurately being lifted from it, cause it’s not my own strength I’m relying on) after one of the most horribly difficult weeks of parenting I have ever faced, and I am not talking about the kind of hard week that involves vomit and mounds of dirty laundry.  There was a night this week that I spent far more hours crying than I did sleeping.  I woke Jonny at 3 a.m. because I felt like I would die lying there in our bed from the sheer pain.  In fact, I didn’t want to face my life at all.  I didn’t think I could.  I did not post anything on my blog the following day.  I just couldn’t.  However, had I wanted to post a whole slew of unrelated pretty photographs of whatever happened to make me smile, I would have.  I wouldn’t have felt like I wasn’t “being real.”  I wouldn’t have felt like it was false of me to post pretty, when life was feeling pretty filthy.

And I guess I just need you to know that.  I post beauty, even when life is ugly.  For me, it’s the only way.

I told Jonny that I feel like we so often get thrown in the deep end, with no opportunity to test the water first.  That’s what this week was like.  But then, as I cautiously began talking with friends, I realized, that of course it’s not just us.  We’re all thrown in the deep end at one time or another, and it’s sink or swim, sink or swim.  And if you are counting on perfection in the world of parenting, you’re going to sink.

Blogs have a way of deceiving, but that’s only if you choose to read them that way.  It’s a choice.  You can read that I stopped for cherries, and make all sorts of assumptions, or you can simply be reminded that we all have our good moments–you and me.  I’m not the best homeschooler,  I lost my hand at structure three kids ago, and at some point I swapped obsessive housecleaning for obsessive knitting.  So there.  I’m a good mom because I love my kids, but not because I’m getting that much right.  You can pour yourself into a child, the best you can, and still wake up one day and realize that you missed, and the consequences are great.

I choose not to share the trials we face as parents here.  As our boys have gotten older, it has become far more obvious why it’s necessary that I don’t.  No matter the temptation to pour my heart out, this is the internet, and my heart is not the only one on the line.

Day trips to the shore or the meadow, handknit sweaters, and jars of pickles canned from our organic garden do not a perfect life make.  Look at these things instead as the small and precious gifts that remind me of life’s greater gifts, the ones that get hidden in the murk on a bad day, or during a really bad week.  Sometimes we celebrate because we’ve simply survived.

(photos from last spring, completely unrelated)


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