Anyone can look put together, right? Unfortunately we think looking in such a way defines a person’s life.
But define put together?
I’d like to address this for a moment. The things that this photo doesn’t reveal.
The reality: I am sitting on a hotel bed feeling like a crappy mother. The morning of this photo I dropped my daughter off at the wrong summer camp.
Yeah, you read that right.
And not just any summer camp, but the one she was supposed to be at is for kids with Type 1 Diabetes. Not that it matters, because, the wrong camp is the wrong camp.
But, she was so excited for this. Over-the-moon excited. She’d never met a kid with Diabetes so this was like her writer’s retreat. Her playoff game. Her time to shine.
Sure, loved ones reassured me it could happen to anyone. “There are several camps on that campus,” they reminded me. Or “You’re in a town and state you aren’t familiar with.” Or “You have an infant.”
Yes, BUT I DROPPED MY DAUGHTER OFF AT THE WRONG SUMMER CAMP!
Then I did the “if only” thing that so innately comes to us. If only I’d paid more attention. Read the signs. Asked more questions. They didn’t even have her on the check-in list, but the young girl assured me “it was fine.” That they had her paperwork somewhere, she just knew it.
I ignored my instinct that something was amiss. Why do we do that? Because I was tired from overnight newborn feedings. Because I had work to do back at the hotel. We’ve taught ourselves to justify anything, right?
Especially Mom guilt. We justify the heck out of this. We beat ourselves up because we’re too busy, too connected, too tired, too stressed, too broke, etc. But let me tell you how this story ends.
I picked my daughter up from the right camp at the end of the day. (The director of the “wrong” camp had called me when they realized they had no paperwork for Lexi and then assured me they’d transport her since it was practically next door).
She was alive. She made no mention of the wrong camp until I started my apology. I could barely get out “I’m sorry” and you know what she said?
“Mom it’s fine. I got to ride on a golf cart!.”
The funny thing about this is, during my freak out moment, my boyfriend said to me “I bet she rode on a golf cart. You just created a whole new experience for her.”
He didn’t run away, thinking, “I can’ trust her as a Mother.” And Lexi practically forgot about the mishap.
So ... “put together?” It’s like our finger print- different for everyone.
But let me just say this: don’t try to rearrange your life because of the put-togetherness others portray. And maybe more importantly, don’t try to hide behind a put-togetherness that isn’t real.
Tell loved ones when your day seems to be falling apart. They want to help. And ask even the most put together looking person what you can do to help them. Don’t just accept their “fine” when you ask them how they are doing. We are all victim of robot mode at one point or another.
There isn’t a person in this world who can’t use more encouragement.
My family helps me feel put together.
Who will you help today?