Today was one of the best days of my life.
Nothing significant happened. I didn’t get the job of my dreams or win the lottery or find a twenty on the sidewalk.
It snowed last night. The first real snow of the season and the whole way to school, the kids threw snow in the air like it was the first time they had ever seen it. They were full of joy. What an amazing start to the day.
The rest of my day was busy. It was the first day of Chanukah and I still had to get the last of the gifts and wrap everything and buy the potatoes for the latkes. I ran around like a chicken with my head chopped off. Usually, a day this busy is a recipe for exhaustion and crank. Not today though.
I got the kids early. My husband came home early. The gifts were wrapped and the kids and I made latkes together. Then we sat down to a family dinner and talked about our days. We lit candles together and then opened gifts. Each child got three; a book, something I thought they’d love, and PJs/bathrobe. Nothing grand. No tickets to Disney or a puppy. But, one after another, the kids opened gifts and exuded joy and appreciation, said that gift was the best gift ever. My son actually said “I need to leave the room for a minute, mommy,” after he opened his giant box of Lego. He left the room and screeched with glee.
They both said it was the best Chanukah ever and that they were the best gifts ever.
My eldest, my almost-nine-year-old daughter, had used some of the money she saved to buy me a necklace at her school’s Holiday Bazaar. It’s a beautiful necklace. It included a card that read: Dear Mom, You’ve done so much for me and now I’m doing something for you. This is a simble [sic] of my love for you. I hope you like it.”
To say I like it would be the understatement of the year.
Half an hour after bedtime, I heard my 6.5-year-old in the bathroom. I went upstairs to find my daughter was in her new narwhal one-piece sleeper, lying by her door reading her new book by the hallway light. It was hard to be mad that she was up past her bedtime. I told her to go to sleep and she asked for a hug. I was on my knees and gave her a hug. My son came out from the bathroom and joined in the hug. There I was, in the hallway of the home I helped create, being embraced by the children I carried and cried over, telling me I’m a great mom and they love me.
I spend most days convinced I’m screwing it all up. My daughter can be sassy and my son, overdramatic (to say the least). They’re not great eaters. I yell too much.
But they’re good, loving, appreciative kids. They are kind and empathic. They’re happy.
I’m not perfect. I’m far from it. But every day, my biggest goal is to be good enough. I think that’s what made today so amazing.
Today, my kids, through their appreciation, through their joy, through their hugs and their words, let me know that I’m not totally screwing this parenting thing up. I’m a little bit of all right. And my husband and I are one hell of a team.
It’s amazing how a simple series events can combine to be more meaningful than anyone could imagine. It wasn’t an extraordinary day. Nothing significant happened. But in its simplicity, in its simple joys, it became an illustration of everything this spent mom needed to know; I’m doing alright.