Today, I received a gift. You moms out there will understand. It was the gift of going grocery shopping by myself. No children. It is sometimes the closest thing I get to “me time” and when it happens, I get rather giddy. Sad, but true.
Anyway, on the way to the grocery store today, I felt, with a keen sense of both humor and nostalgia, how things have changed since I became a mom. I was driving along when one of my favorite songs came on the radio (TobyMac’s Made to Love) and I felt the need to turn up the volume and sing with abandon. After all, it is a rare day that I am 1) alone in a vehicle (alone anywhere for that matter!) and 2) that I can enjoy music without being asked to talk about the meaning of the song, hear about what my child’s favorite stuffed animal just said, or to turn on Veggietales instead. I felt like I did when I was in college at UNC, like I was on my way to meet friends off-campus at a restaurant, at the Pit, or when I was heading back to my dorm after a weekend at home. Yet as TobyMac and I made our way to Harris Teeter, I burst out laughing as one aspect of my reality hit me full force.
There I was blaring music. In our minivan. To my right lay my coupon binder. Behind me in the middle seats sat two car seats. And on the floor lay a smattering of my kids’ toys and prized books.
In that moment, after my laughter died down, I was filled with a sweet, inexplicable joy. There are absolutely times I miss my college days. Perhaps more so because I now understand what sheer freedom and fun those days were in a way that I never had understood before. Yet, despite days filled with frustration when I ask myself for the 100th time why I even BOTHER giving instructions to my 3 year old, or when I am trying to change the diaper of my 1 1/2 year old and he is attempting Evel Knievel moves off the changing table, the happiness I feel and the blessing I have in being a mother to my children in the everyday, even mundane, tasks of life are incredibly worth it. And I wouldn’t trade my life now. Not even for another year of those fun and freedom-filled college days.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I am neglecting my duty to raise our kids as Tarheel fans. Clearly, that would be unacceptable. 😉 I’m a Tarheel born, I’m a Tarheel bred…