All Grown Up and Still Pretending
I can remember as a little girl pretending. A lot. I would pretend to be a teacher, a sales clerk, a bank teller. You name it, I pretended it. But, most of all, more than anything I pretended to play “house.” Maybe you used to do the same. You pretend to cook, wash dishes, have kids, and do laundry. And oh how fun it was to play “house!” As you get older you can’t wait to get married and become a mom. And then one day before you know it, it happens. You get married, you have a baby, you’re a stay at home mom, your headed towards 30, and you find yourself up to your neck in laundry and dishes…and some days just trying to survive. And if you’re anything like me you think, this isn’t quite as fun as when we used to pretend to play house. Now, I don’t mean to say being married and having children isn’t fun. It is. Very much so. But it is hard work and not always as glamorous as we are sometimes made to think. Or maybe we aren’t made to think this way, we just do. For whatever reason.
But in this reality of “house” there are some days I still like to pretend. You may be making a funny face right now, but admit it. You’ve done the same thing. For me, I sometimes like to imagine or “pretend” I’m on a cooking show like “Barefoot Contessa” or “Pioneer Woman.” And not because I’m such a good cook, but because I really enjoy baking, entertaining, and having people over. In these two particular cooking shows they often prepare food for certain friends, or special occasions or because the other moms are coming over. I love this idea of having all the time in the world to cook, bake, decorate, entertain, etc. So, the other day I went to that “pretend world.” I was having 2 friends over for breakfast and then we were planning to go baby consignment shopping. I made sausage-egg casserole and homemade strawberry muffins. Recipe here. I had never made strawberry muffins but they reminded me so much of summer and I thought they would be perfect.
I got out the fine china. Ok, not really. This white set here, ironically was rescued from the dump.
Ricky’s grandpa in MI works at the dump and pulled these out. We ended up with them and absolutely love them.
The kitchen smelled wonderful. Coffee was brewing. Friends had arrived. We had a lovely time eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and talking. We enjoyed thrift shopping and I was especially thrilled to find a great deal on a high chair. The day was fun. And at times, it felt like 3 young girls just playing house and enjoying the simple things of life. Then I got back home, stumbled over all the toys in the middle of the floor, walked into my kitchen, and reality hit.
The sink was full of dishes, stuff was all over the counters, crumbs were on the floor, Hudson was getting fussy, and before long it didn’t feel like I was on a cooking show anymore. I thought, I’m sure those professional cooks have staff that clean up all of their messes. Or nannies to watch their kids. Maybe they don’t. I’m just assuming. But either way, I looked at the mess before me, took a deep breath and smiled. Honestly, I did. This was what I used to pretend and dream about when I was younger; not really understanding what it all meant. And here I was. A house, a husband, a baby, and a whole lot of work and responsibility before me. But it is great. And I am blessed. I can truly look out my kitchen window while I hand wash all my dishes and be thankful for this life God has given me. ( I still would prefer to have a dishwasher. Always.)
Is it always fun? No, it’s not. Is it easy? Not at all. But, it is life. A life filled with gifts from the Lord. God has called us to work and labor on this earth. And God is teaching me how to do one of the busiest, most important jobs: being a mother and wife. And I’m learning amidst the occasional chaos and frustrations of this life, there can be joy. Joy under the sun. I’m sure by now people might be tired of seeing all the pictures I constantly post, but I am so in love with my baby boy. As tired as I am some days, I love spending time with this boy. A wonderful gift from God.
As frustrated as I get because I don’t understand why Hudson is so fussy some days, nothing is better than seeing his face when he wakes up from a nap and sees me walk in.
So, there may be days when I pretend. Pretend I’m a professional cook and use big words like “Compote.” Pretend to play house. And it’s freeing; fun. But really this pretend house has turned into a reality for me, which I am so thankful for. There are days I wonder if i’m the only one without a dishwasher. The only one with a son who doesn’t sleep through the night. The only one who has piles and piles of laundry. (For real…sometimes it’s bad) The only one who really feels alone somedays. I would guess that I am not. Because we’re all on this journey together. So go pretend. Play with your kids. Have fun. And find joy that only God can give.
This is joy under the sun.