This summer, my family and I experienced a perfect day.
The weather was immaculate, a beautiful summer day with clear skies and temperatures in the 80’s. To top it off, it was a weekend and my husband was actually home for a change. So we decided to spend it together.
We have lived in Ohio for over 12 years and we are still discovering new parts of this lovely region of the country. The Ohio Valley is filled with amazing natural beauty; the powerful Ohio River, the rolling hills of the Appalachians, and the lush green forests.
On this perfect day, we set out to experience a National park that we had failed to experience thus far. Raccoon Creek State Park, in Pennsylvania, contains a 100 acre lake, which we figured would be perfect to try out our new kayaks. To our surprise, the ENTIRE family agreed to go.... even the oldest girls. The social lives of these girls of mine could make my head spin. So the fact that they were free and willing to hang out with siblings and parents gave me great joy.
We loaded up the kayaks and adventured out. It is no small production getting 10 people, 2 kayaks, 1 cooler and lots of food and towels to a beach. But we managed and ended up having a great time.
Afterward, exhausted from the load up and return from the lake, the entire family, once again, retired to the back yard to relax in front of a bonfire and grill some burgers. As we hung out, the younger boys grabbed the BB guns to practiced some shooting, while Mary got out her bow and arrows for a little target practice. Our hearts were filled with joy as we watched the children get along and play with simple innocence. We were relishing the peace and perfection.
I went inside to get some of the children ready for bed.
What did I see upon entering my house? A dirty kitchen! A huge pile of unwashed laundry! A carpet that needed vacuumed! And a truck full (or rather van full) of “perfect family fun day” equipment and clothing needing put away!
Whoosh.... the joy was gone. I was bombarded with a feeling of incompetence. I had failed as a mother and wife for allowing my house to get so messy. What a disservice I have done to my family for making them live in such chaos. I felt hopeless. How can I ever do it all? I immediately got grumpy and short fused with everyone around me and I was in danger of ruining the entire perfect day.
So I stopped.
I took a breath.
And I came to my senses. I was being ridiculous. I had just experienced a perfect day with my family. We had a terrific time being together. Everyone was loved, everyone was encouraged, everyone was happy. And... THAT IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS!
Those silly little details in life can easily distract us from what really matters. When we die, the cleanliness of our house will be insignificant, but the bonds we have made with our kids will last forever. They probably won’t even remember much about the piles of laundry or the stacks of dishes, yet they will remember those relaxing evenings laughing, talking and being together.
Thank goodness I managed to avoid a “perfect day ruining melt down”. My husband and children are glad too.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.... hold on tight to those moments that really matter.