There is this moment in This Is Us where Jack is talking to the car salesman in reference to his children and what he wants for them in life, and he says, “I want them to be okay.” (This may not be the exact wording, but you get the gist.)
Basically everything Jack says or does gets me because he is so much like J as a husband and father that’s it eery (I’ve cried way too many times and told him if he dies before I’m ready, I will kill him. It speaks volumes that he still watches this show with me each week even though I become an emotional mess and often a bit irrationally upset at him for a fictional character’s death). And I looked over at him in this moment, tears all ready running down my face, and I just lost it.
8 years of parenting. Of reading and researching and trying and trying again. Of failing. Miserably sometimes. Of questioning everything. Of finding answers that actually only lead to more questions. Of failing again. Of trying harder
I’ve been thinking a lot about this word.
Ki with a two year old and infant loathed this word.
What kind of person – of parent – only aims for okay? Why set the bar so low when you want so much for you children?
Now okay is good enough and good enough is more than acceptable.
I’ve gotten calmer and more laid back with each kiddo.
There are still things that are non-negotiable for me, but that’s not for this post. But in general?
I’m right there. I’m learning and surviving and most days even thriving, and you know what? So are my kids.
And their momma and papa aren’t perfect. Not by a long shot. Even though most days I feel J is about as close to it as humanly possible.
I strive to be more patient every single day. I battle my type A personality that wants everything to be perfect and I try so hard to get that evil little word out of my head and vocabulary all together.
Perfect isn’t attainable. It’s isn’t real.
I can do that. And I can do it without beating myself up every time I fail.
Sometimes I will have the patience to let my two year old do his own car seat buckles even though it adds ten minutes to our adventure.
Sometimes I will have the empathy to hold my near tween when she’s crying over spilled nail polish.
Sometimes I will just sing to and rock the fussy, teething infant who hasn’t slept in twelve hours.
Sometimes I will be able to just grin and let my 6 year old continue belting out music at the top of his lungs when I deeply desire quiet.
Most of the times, even.
But sometimes I will buckle his car seat clips and tell her that I can’t sit with her for an hour while she cries and I will put the fussy baby down for five minutes and walk away and I will insist on peace and quiet.
And it’s okay.
Because although I will always strive to be more patient and more gentle and more respectful, I am human. And I will fail.
And that’s okay.
Because regardless, my kiddos will be okay.
Deeply loved, and okay.