We went to my parents’ house today for an Easter egg hunt.
They still live in my childhood home about 25 minutes away from where I live now.
It’s about the only tradition we’ve hung on to for all the kids every year at Easter, and my parents have an awesome yard which is perfect for hiding eggs.
They fill 125 plastic eggs — 25 eggs per kid — with candy and a little bit of money. Each egg is labeled with the kids’ initials so there is no confusion.
My dad loves to hide the eggs as much as the kids love to look for them.
We had really nice weather today in Connecticut, and the kids had a great time hunting for their eggs.
After all the eggs have been found, the kids sit down and see what they got inside and then they eat too much candy.
Under normal circumstances the kids will play a game of kickball with my dad.
I usually sit on the porch and watch them play (or even sit inside and try to get some quiet time) because I’m usually just so worn out.
Going to my parents’ house for Easter is usually a break for me.
But since we are not under normal circumstances right now, my dad sat out for the kickball, and I played with the kids.
It was Number 3, 4 and 6 against Number 5, 7, and me.
It was actually a lot of fun.
I can’t remember the last time I played kickball with the kids.
In fact, it’s possible that in the almost fifteen years since Number 3 was born, I have never played kickball with them.
We were all having fun and the kids were seeing a side of me they don’t often see.
It wasn’t the stressed out, semi-resentful, exhausted, commander-in-chief who is always in charge of making sure everyone is doing their chores, getting their homework and schoolwork done, getting to where they need to be when they need to be there, and keeping everyone in a routine and on schedule.
They were seeing Mom just having fun and being present.
For like a whole bunch of minutes in a row.
At one point during the game, one of the kids had a meltdown over being called out by the ump (my dad, from the porch) and that didn’t go over so well.
And Number 4 said, “NO! Don’t do that. Mom is finally in a good mood! Don’t ruin it!”
First, I have to acknowledge that nobody else really ruins a person’s mood.
You do that yourself.
You determine how you are going to feel about a circumstance and react to what is going on around you.
You are in control of your thoughts.
And since your thoughts determine your feelings, you are in control of those, too.
I’m not really cranky and bitchy and snappy and reactive because of my kids.
It’s because of myself.
It’s because of the life I have set up for myself.
I’ve created most of the shit that really stresses me out and makes it difficult to even think straight half the time.
With many of the demands of regular life stripped away — sports, volunteering, coaching, driving, — life is very different.
It’s honestly better.
I am still decompressing from the schedule I had created for myself in the last ten years.
The unmanageable, unsustainable, and what I realize now, completely unfulfilling and impossible schedule I had put into place.
It’s been 30 days, and I am just starting to come out of a self-induced mom coma.
I’ve been running on angry auto pilot for years now.
And I think today was the first time I poked a finger or maybe even an elbow through that ridiculously confining and suffocating chrysalis I had become encapsulated in.
While I’m realizing I had enclosed myself inside a life full of way too many activities, obligations, and commitments, most of which I was not truly enjoying, something else was happening.
When you are inside a chrysalis, you are growing. Changing.
Becoming the living being you were ultimately meant to become.
I’ve been doing a lot of becoming inside this self-designed chrysalis.
And I’m getting closer to really cracking that motherfucker open.
Today was a metaphorical and literal breakthrough.
And I’m really, really excited to reach the point where I’ve finally shed the whole goddamn thing.