When I first started teaching I handmade a little sign that said “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” and hung it in my classroom. I thought it was fitting since I was teaching in a lock down school where many of the students were fighting addictions or abusive pasts.
Later I hung the same sign in my classroom at a junior high where I taught special education. Again I thought it was fitting.
Today that little sign hangs over my sewing table in my family room…and I still think it’s fitting.
The other night we were eating dinner. We were all sitting around the table eating, listening to Simon tell jokes, and laughing. It could have been a commercial for the joys of family meal time. But then Ruth threw a handful of beans at Simon and in the process knocked her plate on to the floor. Then in an effort to save the plate my husband tipped over a glass and Grace fell off her chair. Chaos ensued.
But after the mess was mopped up we finished our meals, read stories, completed homework, gave baths, and tucked everyone into bed. And as my husband and I walked down the hall he turned to me and said, “Tonight was a good night.”
I hadn’t really thought about it—the evening had just been business as usual but he was right—it had been a good night. In fact, it may have even been a wonderful night.
Sure there was a disaster in the middle of dinner and we had to sweep, mop, and vacuum for the second time that day. And yes there were some tears that came from falling off a chair and of course there was the yelling about being pelted in the head by green beans…BUT that only lasted for a small time…AND we all were able to eat a warm meal together and laugh and take clean baths and be safe and have warm pajamas and love each other and….there a million tiny details of all things wonderful that I tend to forget about and take for granted.
Sometimes I want everything to be perfect—I have this image in my head of how I want things to be but rarely, if ever, do things turn out that way…and it’s not for a lack of trying…and I get frustrated with my short comings…and my imperfections….
But sometimes, I have moments of clarity and I can see that things are pretty darn wonderful, even if they aren’t perfect.
And that night after I tucked my kids into bed and ate generic brand ice cream out of chipped cereal bowls while watching MacGyver on Netflix sitting on the couch in between my husband and a pile of laundry waiting to be folded I had one of those moments.
And I thought to myself, who needs perfect when I can have wonderful?
Hope you all have a wonderfully unperfect weekend!
PS—The photo above is one that I took while I was photographing Ruth’s tip toe through the tulip dress—it was about this time when Simon was making ugly noises with a balloon, and making the girls freak out that I decided that we had taken enough pictures for the day!