**a special thank you to Jana, who whipped up this post in no time, and I love it! I think it’s something many of us can relate to. Jana, I’m honored to have you (again), and I appreciate your help while I’m out of whack for a bit!**
I’d bet all the money I have in my wallet (about $2.94) that when you were a kid, you played house. Surely everybody does. It’s a rite of passage for boys and girls.
Your play family probably had a mommy, daddy, teenager and baby, maybe even a dog or cat. Mommy made the meals, daddy went to work, the teenager was moody and the baby always needed a bottle. At least that’s how it was played out in our circle of friends.
Maybe you had a different version. I, personally, didn’t know there could even BE different versions — two mommies, two daddies, no mommy, no daddy. My version looked like the families I was surrounded by. Up to and including a pet and a white picket fence and happiness ALL THE TIME!
It’s no secret that life isn’t like that at all.
Families aren’t cookie-cutter, textbook, American-dreamy, nuclear families. Life isn’t all sparkly and glowy all the time. With the good and happy, also comes the sad and tragic.
Do you ever look around and wonder if this is REALLY your life? Do you ever feel like you’re playing house, looking down into someone else’s life, wondering how they do it all and still stay relatively sane? I do.
Sometimes I sit back, in the quiet of the day, and wonder how I got where I am today and how I got so dang lucky to have a house, cars, a beautiful living son, amazing friends and family, and all kinds of other physical and non-physical possessions.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I’m 36. My body says I most definitely am, but my brain wonders how in the world I could possibly have already done all the things that I’ve done - “adult things.”
You know “adult things.”
Buying groceries, cooking supper, registering for schools and camps, paying bills, buying new tires for cars and having new roofs put on the house. Buying houses, changing diapers, planning birthday parties.
Birthing babies, burying a child. Attending funerals for your parents or friends’ parents or even friends. Standing by a friend who is getting divorced or who is sick.
Paying real money for real vacations. Saving money for a rainy day and for retirement. Getting hired. Getting fired. Changing jobs.
Is this really ME doing all of these things? (some of those things I’ve not really done) Because I really feel like it’s all pretend sometimes. Maybe that’s why moms don’t have a whole lot of down time. Because when I have time to think, it scares me.
It scares me that I’m trusted with all of these daily chores and little lives and big burdens. It scares me that time is going by so quickly that it truly feels like an afternoon in the playhouse when it’s really a year or three. It scares me that my memories of my first son are slipping away. It scares me that while there will be a million more happy moments in my lifetime, there will also be a lot of painfully heartbreaking ones, too. It’s inevitable.
It scares me that if I blink too many times, my afternoon of playing house will be over.
Jana Anthoine is a country girl turned city girl. She lives in The South with her husband of 14 years, her 7 year old son, a fat ass cat and the memory of her son who died from Group B Strep in 2003. She writes about loss, life and laughter at Jana’s Thinking Place and if she’s alive and breathing, she’s tweeting. Jana was chosen as a 2012 BlogHer Voice Of The Year with a post published right here on Erin’s site - From a Pecan to a Majestic Magnolia.