When Number 3 was little, we watched a lot of Sesame Street.
A LOT OF SESAME STREET.
We amassed quite a collection of DVD’s.
One of his favorites was Elmo Saves Christmas.
I remember watching that thing over and over and over.
If you’ve never seen Elmo Saves Christmas, Elmo loves Christmas so much that he wishes for it to be Christmas every day.
At first Christmas every day is pretty awesome.
But then as time goes on, Elmo realizes that Christmas every day kind of blows.
Because when it’s Christmas every day, then it isn’t other things.
Or your birthday.
Well, unless you were born on Christmas.
Anyway, eventually Elmo realizes the mistake he’s made, and I don’t remember how, but everything goes back to normal.
I was thinking about this today when Number 7 was having a schoolwork meltdown.
What she had to do wasn’t hard.
She just didn’t want to do it.
And I get that.
There are lots of things I don’t want to do every day.
But it’s the contrast of emotions that makes the good ones so good.
Going on vacation to a tropical place is extra awesome when you live somewhere that has cold winters.
Because it’s the total opposite of what you normally experience.
Achieving success in something you’ve worked your ass off for is much more satisfying than success that comes with no struggle at all.
It’s the contrasts in life that make the good parts good.
Without the bad, the good would just be…
Ultimately, there would be no good. Or awesome. Or AMAZING!!!
We see this in sports, don’t we?
I mean, after the Patriots won the Super Bowl for the eleventy skillionth time, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
But when the Eagles beat them in 2018?
That was way better than any other win.
Because they pulled off something pretty major.
The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.
As parents we often say that the only thing we want for our kids is for them to be happy.
But that’s not what I want for my kids.
Because without sadness, without adversity, without challenges, without failures, without disappointments, without the negative stuff, the positive stuff means pretty much nothing.
You end up like Elmo, celebrating his 20th consecutive day of Christmas.
Challenge is good.
Frustration is good.
Disappointment is good.
Delayed gratification is good.
Waiting is good.
Change is good.
Failure is good.
Financial hardship is good.
Getting dumped by someone is good.
Getting fired is good.
Being forced to think way outside the box is good.
Making decisions you don’t want to have to make is good.
Because all that stuff leads you to the experiences that are great.
They enable us to navigate bullshit like what has been going on in the world for the last 72 days.
Do you know how awesome regular, everyday things are going to feel whenever life returns to (mostly) normal?
How much of a badass are most moms right now?
You have been functioning — and even kicking ass — in fucking impossible situations.
You have become smarter and more efficient and more creative and more resilient because of what has happened in the last 9 weeks!
You might not see it that way right now, but the past nine weeks have forced you to make changes and the past nine weeks have helped you grow.
When things calm down and activities and routines return, you are going to be more of a rockstar on the back end than you were on the front end.
Because the contrast might have sucked,
But it has forced you to up your game.
You’ve leveled up.
And not because you were happy.
But because life threw a pretty massive challenge at you.
And that’s when the good stuff feels really, really good.
Remember that the next time some bullshit is headed your way.
It sucks in the moment.
But it’s also the thing that makes you a little bit — or a lot — better than you were the day before.