Living in the dark and light of life and finding the miracle in each. It’s about embracing those dark days and those dirty honest moments with the faith that there is light, faith and a divine plan in all of the muck and bad feelings. It’s about remaining hopeful, kind and full of wonder through it all. I call these moments, SOUL MOMENTS. Moments when we find a way to be shaken and rattled in order to be grateful of things that might be ordinary, but are still full of wonder when you take the time to fully pay attention to and appreciate them.
We sometimes need others to share those soul moments with us so we remember that they are all around us. That the light is all around us, even when we are in pitch black darkness. So I share with you a moment of darkness, mentally and emotionally as a woman, wife and mother but was able to grasp that ray of light in my soul moments that were laid out before me.
So on this particular day my dark and light were these feelings:
Dark = ordinary = boring = khaki = forgettable loser
While my light was: Light = bright = bold = hero with a legacy
Since I know of you all probably have visited such a place of where I came to meet my darkness, let me paint a picture for you. A local barnyard type of viewing and petting zoo. Think ducks, pigs, goats, ponies, owls, bunnies, gift shop and picnic area within an enclosed space that your children cannot escape from. For this piece of storytelling we will call this place ABC ZOO. Let me state first, since many of you are probably petting zoo lovers, that I am not a hater of ABC Zoo and do own a membership to the so-called ABC Zoo…
HOWEVER …. On this particular Saturday I was not an ABC lover. Since the moment I woke up it was playing out to be a dark day … the weekend before I had been in Chicago with JUST my husband for four wonderful adult days where I did what I wanted, when I wanted while I wore adult clothes while eating adult food while doing adult things with my adult husband. But then this adult came back to reality on a Sunday afternoon and jumped right into a week of VBS, dance classes and giving all of myself to everyone else. So when my eyes popped open that morning I was less than enthused to pack up my clan and head to the zoo. I don’t make a habit of hanging out there on the weekends, but my eldest Braxton was a founder of the Pokemon craze and had been asking to hit up the Pokemon Go stops at the zoo all week. I decided that making my husband suffer along with me would be a good soul moment for him, so we had decided on Saturday morning for a Pokemon pit stop.
When we arrived it started to drizzle which always makes me and my kids happy … said no one ever. When we got through the entrance we immediately logged into the App to find Pokemon for our eldest. This is where everything went downhill for me.
The GPS of the damn app wouldn’t catch … I tried, my husband tried and we tried and we tried with no luck which caused a pissed off first grader. Super. So now what exactly was the purpose of our trip to ABC Zoo then??? With three-year old twins they found a purpose … the actual zoo itself. So off we went. It being a Saturday it was busy and there were lots of ABC Zoo imposters that didn’t know the lay of the land. I was in a seriously bad mommy mood and was not equipped with the patience to allow strangers to stop in front of me or cut my kids in line. As the rain lifted and the humidity swept in I also was surrounded by not only my sticky skin and the sticky skin of strangers but also the thick muggy smell of animals and hay. As we made our way from the duck pond and into the barn, all three of my little ones began asking for snacks and the echoes of children screaming and parents bickering overtook my senses as we made our way into the tunnel. I felt myself twitch and flashes of Elaine from the episode of Seinfeld when she gets stuck in the subway took over my brain and I too wish I could scream “Shut up! Shut up!”
As we went deeper into the hot dark barn I literally thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I saw two parents yell at their kid for touching the drinking fountain. “Don’t! Touch that! IT’s germy! You’ll get sick!” immediately grabbing his hands and dousing them with hand sanitizer. Meanwhile my kids had their snack in one hand and with the other were picking up hay from the wet ground feeding the sheep as they stuffed the rest of their snack in their mouths. Sigh. The amount of parents seemed to grow in number within seconds and I found myself being suffocated by khaki wearing humans with smartphones glowing blue in their faces as they talked about the latest characters on Bubble Guppies. That’s when I lost it. I started to lose my breath as I thought this is not where I am supposed to be. I am supposed to be in the city. I am supposed to be having conversations about art, sex and food. I hate khaki. I hate the smell of animals. I am supposed to be writing a book and rubbing elbows with the cool cats of the literacy world. I’m not cut out for this! I’m supposed to be a hero leaving a legacy of change not a path of snack crumbs. The black cloud that had been looming over my head was now an all engulfing storm cloud and I thought to myself that I could make a run for it! I could run out of that barn and for the main street. I could catch a ride to Chicago with it’s bright lights and dreamy people. I could break out of this suburban jail and be FREE. Talk about dark right? Yes, I am a mom and yes I was thinking my life was a jail at that exact moment. Talk about shame.
But then something happened … one by one my kids began speaking my thoughts out loud. “These people are loud. “
“This place smells.”
“I am hot.”
“Those kids are mean.”
“Let’s go home.”
“This is boring.”