It all started with a Facebook post…a Facebook memory, actually, that a woman shared on her Timeline recently.
It was a picture of her daughter, 2 years ago, sitting poolside, in a tankini, eating a sandwich. It was summer. The sky was a crystal clear blue. The sun was glistening off the gentle waves in the water.
The caption she wrote with the picture reads: Really missing our pool days this year.
See, her daughter, who is 7, is fighting cancer for a second time. And instead of spending the summer outside, drinking up the sun and swimming, she and her daughter are spending their time rotating between the children’s hospital and The Ronald McDonald House.
Here is where the perspective part comes in…
I have three, healthy children but they have been driving me crazy this summer. There’s been a lot of bickering and not listening and acting out because Daddy is away at school.
I have found SEVERAL gray hairs that were not there a few months ago. I have had more wine in the past couple of months than I have had in the past year.
It takes 2 hours, literally, for us to get ready to go to the pool. There’s the packing of the pool bag (which is often interrupted by breaking up fights between my children) – change of clothes for 4 people, snacks, water bottles, extra swim diapers, baby wipes.
Then there’s the part where I have to get all the kids changed into their swimsuits. I have to fight with my toddler to put it on because everything is “no” these days.
Then there’s the part where I have to get them into the car. This, as many of you Mamas know, is like herding cats. All of the sudden they can’t find their shoes that I have been asking them to put on for the last 30 minutes. And then the baby makes a dirty diaper and I have to change him. And then my daughter decides she needs to bring 5 books, 3 dolls and a pen and paper so she can writer her own book.
“Can you carry these, Mommy?” She asks me as she thrusts her superfluous items into my hands, which are already full with a pool bag, diaper bag and a baby in a car seat.
By the time I get everyone strapped into their seats – I’m exhausted.
There were days this summer that I found myself hoping it would rain so that going to the pool wasn’t an option. Sometimes I would find excuses as to why we couldn’t go. Sometimes I found myself rolling my eyes and losing my patience as I tried to get everything ready while they yelled at each other about whose turn it was to play with the little red car.
And then…that post popped up in my Newsfeed…and I thought – Well, shit.
Those two, that Mama and her daughter, would give anything to be able to go to the pool every single day, no matter how long it took them to get ready.
This weekend, I took the kids to the pool every day. And as I wrestled my toddler into his bathing suit, stopped to feed the baby and packed the millions of things into the pool bag, I was grateful.
So grateful that I could take my kids to the pool…that we could spend the afternoon there and play Sharks and Minnows and eat watermelon.
Life is ALL about what you make of it.
There are some things you can’t control, of course. BUT – there are some things you most definitely can – like your thoughts and perspective.
If you change your perspective, does that change everything?
My answer: YES. (Case and point: I happily packed up the pool bag this afternoon PLUS packed dinner for all the kiddos and the whole time I was thinking – even as my toddler, in nothing but his swim diaper, ran away from me as I tried to get him changed – this is going to be fun)
NEVER lose sight of what is TRULY important.
We live in a busy world. It’s easy to take things for granted.
I will continue to try to do better. I hope you do, too.
If you would like to learn more about this little girl’s story or how you can help through monetary donations, then go here: