There are vacation days, birthdays, snow days, sick days, and holidays. There are the first days of school and graduations. There are field trips, field day, pumpkin celebrations, and winter festivals. There are awesome days and very, horrible good for nothing days. And then there are the “normal” days. They come and go without much pomp and circumstance – often not showcased for the world to see via social media outlets. These days that do not have accompanying greeting cards to send as acknowledgement. We often recognize these days as boring, lackluster, or uninteresting, but really, I would argue that normal days can stand as the greatest examples of the lives we have built. They are the days I want to read about in my journal 20 years from now to remember my every day triumphs – the time we sang songs and played a guessing game of our own imagination during an exceptionally long wait for haircuts, every day challenges – the time left my wallet at home when I went to pick up my pre schooler and nearly ran out of gas on the way and at the most basic level – who I was then. It’s where, if we look close enough, we can find all of our achievements and disappointments. Glimpses into what we’ve learned and what we have yet to learn. Both make a normal day, a priceless treasure. When we recognize that the little things are the big things that make any normal day a bit sweeter.
Lately, I’ve noticed my boys beating themselves up about their behavior. Admittedly, they have had a lot of moments requiring redirection or are reprimanded for not following the rules like typical four and six year old boys. However, the pressure they put on themselves to be flawless is their own and as they strive to be well-behaved 100% of the time, they are inevitably struggling. I’ve explained to them that most days are average, a balance of good and bad moments. Most days are not a celebration of anything in particular. And that’s ok. That’s normal. That’s life. It’s one of those “ah-ha parenting moments” when I realize I need to apply the message I give to my children to my own life almost as soon as the words leave my mouth. Our lives are filled with a constant flow of things to do. I want us to be able to just be. I want us to relish the plateaus of life as much as we rejoice at the peaks and look for comfort in the valleys because, after all, isn’t that where life really happens?