Monday, May 14, 2007

What I learned on Mother's Day.

I will be the first one to admit that I am a perfectionist. How can I just come right out and admit that?? Well the first thing you'll notice about a perfectionist is that they, at all times, want to appear perfect. The second thing you'll notice is that they like to brag about it. Today I learned a very valuable lesson which I hope to not forget any time soon.

Today was Mother's Day and it really was a beautiful day. Lance and I decided (ok I decided and he didn't disagree.......very much) a couple of months ago to have the babies baptised on Mother's Day, by the same person who baptised myself and Ashlyn 2 years ago. To make this work we had to get everyone dressed, pack up the van, and drive a half hour to be the church by 10:45 AM.

My perfectionistic self decided that not only could it be done but it could be done, well. Our perfect children would look perfect, as would I and so I set out to find the perfect outfits for the perfect price (meaning cheap). It wasn't easy but I did it. Then to make things easier for the morning of the baptism, I packed the diaper bag, you guessed it, perfectly. I made a list, I checked it twice. Everything we could possibly need to care for 3 infants and a toddler for approximately 2.5 hours (in case the sermon ran long) plus an afternoon at Grandma's house.

At approximately 6:30 am I woke up to feed the first baby and then proceeded to shower, dress, eat, get Ashlyn dressed, fix her hair, fix my hair, change diapers, undress babies, dress babies, strap them into car seats, pack them into the car with Ashlyn, and I think you get the picture. Lance did help a little, ok more than a little. My goal was to leave at 9:30 am. To my surprise we actually did! We made it to the church by 10 am so that we could dress the babies (who were wearing only onsies so that their perfect outfits wouldn't get messy on the way) and to be seated in our pew before the service began.

I took Ryan out of his carseat and started looking for his perfect outfit. Where is it?? I could have cried. All of the perfect outfits were still hanging on the kitchen chair, back at home, where I'd hung them so carefully this morning. At least the babies were all wearing white onsies. So I shrugged and said "Oh well".

The service started and was going well for about 5 minutes. I knew Ashlyn would get bored but I didn't count on her being replaced by psycho-child. She was up, she was down, she was sideways, she whined, she screamed, she talked louder than a whisper, she wanted to go outside, no inside, upstairs, no downstairs. OK so she's 2. I guess I can't expect her to be perfect in church especially when she was hungry, tired, bored, and battling a cold.

After all that I just gave up. I had a meltdown and a half, and then was just too tired to complain anymore about how my perfect day was ruined.

Now it is the end of the day and as I think back, I realize something. Does it really matter that they didn't get to wear their perfect outfits?? No. Does it matter that people saw that my 2 year old isn't perfect?? No. I could even sit and list a few more things that, in my mind, were not perfect enough.

Do you want to know what does matter?? I was lucky enough to carry Gabriella, Ryan, and Brooke to 35 weeks and they are healthy and beautiful. I was given Ashlyn after 8 years of wanting a baby desperately. I am a mom because of them. My babies were all baptised today, which brings them one step closer to knowing the God that I know. My 80 something Grandmother got to see her granddaughter, who shares her middle name, be baptised today. I got to spend time with my mom and mother-in-law, sitting around the kitchen table gossiping over coffee. These are the things that I will remember.

You want to know what I learned today?? If you stress about the small stuff, you miss out on the really big stuff.

But I did dress the babies up in their perfect outfits when we got home and took their picture. That way I can still say "Here you are in the outfits you wore on the day that you were baptised".

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