Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"..a different kind of happy family"

Oh, life's imperfections can be so messy, can't they?!  And just oh-so-perfect all at the same time.

Stay with me, here...

A friend saw a photograph of me, my ex-husband and our children in Florida this summer and asked,  in a bewildered tone, "do y'all vacation together?"  I mean, as if

I can tell what the next question is going to be, and I stop it at the pass by explaining how, yes, we have separate sleeping quarters.  Yes, it can get tricky.   Yes, I still love him and always will (he's my babies' daddy afterall).  And no, we're not back together.

Is it perfect?  No.

Is it the dream I dreamt up when I was a little girl? Absolutely not.

Life never is.

And yet, it's all so beautiful, this different kind of happy family.  Who knew this is what we would create?  Who knew it would be so perfect-imperfect?

Merriam-Webster defines imperfect as "defective."  I don't think that's the most accurate definition.  Maybe that's our problem.  Maybe when things aren't going our way or how we think they should be going, we quit looking at it like it's "defective."  Maybe, instead, we need to give ourselves -and each other- a little grace.  That definition is much more appropriate and compassionate:  "a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward."

Imperfection is so much easier anyway.  So much less pressure.  Plus, children like it.  In fact, we were at the circus a few weeks ago.  When the ringmaster brought the camels out, one of them stopped entirely inside the ring.  It took a moment for the crowd to notice that, well,  the camel had to go!  As in #2.  Dropped it all right there in front of everyone.  My kids couldn't stop laughing.  Later, when they told their grandmother what their favorite part of the circus was - you guessed it.  Camel + #2.

Slowly, I'm learning to love the imperfect parts of life, those spaces and occurrences I used to see as flawed or incomplete.  They are, instead, just as they should be.  My sweet and different little family.  We are happy.  Imperfect.  Growing.  And I am grateful.