as we enter the home stretch of this pregnancy, more and more often i find myself pondering what it means to be a family. while sipping my morning coffee, i try to imagine what mornings will soon look like in this house – and what i want them to look like as this little girl grows up. naturally it brings me back to my own childhood experience and i’ve realized a few things that i want to bring with me into raising my own daughter.
every family has its own type of crazy. if i can accept this early, i’ll do just fine. often i witness the role of motherhood bear down the weighty expectation of ‘perfection’ on the women around me. i think it’s important to acknowledge right now that i will not be a perfect mother and we will not have a perfect family. and yes, even if we haven’t noticed it yet, our own unique type of crazy will emerge at some point. and yet, knowing how loony my family can be, when i think back on being a kid, it felt pretty damn fantastic to me. the chaos wasn’t chaos, it was just us being fun and awesome.
my parents were not perfect. at times they let me down, and they let each other down. but they loved us fiercely and they never stopped trying, and most importantly, they modeled for me that perfection is not worth being in constant pursuit of nor is it meant to be our measuring stick of success… i was taught that joy can be found in simplest of moments. and because of this, i had an incredibly joyful childhood. my memories of the challenges and obstacles faced sit in good company with memories of campfires with s’mores in the driveway and over the top themed birthday parties orchestrated on a budget.
and lastly, the photo above which i recently discovered at my parent’s house. taken at one of their epic new year’s eve parties (which also happens to be my mother’s birthday) where they were hip enough to let my brother and i run around in our pjs until the countdown before being sent to bed. it is my very favorite, because it is a very real and accurate portrayal of our exuberant madness. here’s to seeking happiness over perfection, and family portraits that reflect real life.