My daughter just ran down the sidewalk to find apartment #106 to have a friend over for a playdate. She did the same thing yesterday and had a great time... playing sidewalk chalk on the 3 foot by 3 foot walkway in front of our new digs. The girls ran around our mess of an apartment, played with American girl dolls that are sandwiched into a corner in the loft that she shares with her brother for her makeshift bedroom that still has an unpacked box of Mommy's clothes in the middle because there is simply no room for it to go. We walked to the park, and Addie knew no different than her life in a 5,000 square foot house in the burbs. And that makes me smile.
This morning she asked if she could have her friend over again and I suggested that they could play play-doh while Mommy got a shower... Ya know- the same play-doh that God forbid she played with and messed up my granite counters in my old house. Addie then looked at me and sweet as can be said, "Or we could play in the basement." Ha- I asked back, "Ummm, where is our basement?(since we are clearly in a two level townhome apartment)", and she said right here, it's the bottom level. She knows no difference. And that makes me smile.
Chris was dropped off from baseball camp and proudly invited his friends in "to see his new room." He doesn't care that it's not painted, doesn't have a comforter and he's sleeping with his Virginia Tech fleece blanket in the summer with navy blue sheets and that his sister's Dora blanket hung down from the top bunk. In our old house, Mommy didn't allow anything with "characters" except on your jammies and underpanties.... and yet Chris couldn't have been happier to show off his pad... And that makes me smile,.
Ya see, I live in the land of Nova. The land of the have's and the have not's and eventhough we are blessed and have more than we'll ever need, we feel like we're somewhere in between. I have conversations with my girlfriends where we talk about a neighbor that got new furniture and instead of being happy for her, we wonder what the hell we are doing wrong or sometimes just make up a story in our head that's make believe... like "they must have family money" to make ourselves feel better. We live in the land of Nova where you feel like your kid isn't going to go to the World Series if they miss out on a private lesson or might miss out if they don't have a phone by the fifth grade to text with their friends (not my kid... but then again, I've learned you NEVER say never... I can see it coming). I live in the land of Nova where Bunco games are catered and I freak out on my hubby if the faucet is out of line when I'm about to host a party. I live in the land of Nova where I know that we want to get away from it all, but yet we love it at the same time. It's the land of Nova.
You spend all of your hours trying to raise a caring, loving child. You want them to care more. Care more about the little things... You bicker with them to untie their shoes before they put them on, hang up their swimsuits when they get home from practice, to love thy neighbor- to simply care.
But this summer is teaching me something so much more. People love you for who you are- not for what you have- and that's how it should be. What matters is the love between your four walls, not how they are decorated. What matters is that I'm getting to spend my days learning from the very own creatures I care so much about- and they are teaching me that's okay to care a little less.
Care a little less, and love a little more. That makes me smile.