Hey! Hey you there in the park, the mall, Target, the office, the waiting room, the drop-off line! Can you do me a favor? When you see me out and about, come talk to me. Let me know you see me and not just my rowdy babes. As we stumble through whatever situation I find us in, give me a supportive nod…and then do a little more. Come talk to me.
I certainly appreciate any attention you give the little ones that surround me. Compliment the girl’s perfect skip down the aisle. Tell the boy he’s super-fast at the slide. Let the baby know his laugh is contagious. Smile at the newby in his twinkling eyes. And then do a little more. Notice The Lady who’s running the show because I’m beginning to lose sight of myself. The mad dash of day and the relentless pace of night mean that I have hours and hours to be immersed in creating a life that’s show-worthy but somehow only has me in a supporting role.
I do it all. All of it. All the time. Mostly because I’m the one who’s around to do it all! The Man is off earning pennies, so I can keep coming up with new and exciting ways to rub them together. He is a successful penny collector because he’s hard-working, intelligent, and completely supported in his pursuits by none other than little, old me. I keep it all together, so he doesn’t have to.
I wrangle and raise our babes—the joys of my life! Hard, rewarding, never-ending, challenging, important, and inspirational work that takes all my heart and time. The Man is ready to chip in when he can, when he’s around, when he knows how, and when I let him (if we’re being honest). But mostly, it’s on me to care for my crew…and for my own family too. And The Man’s family. And my friends! My amazing friends who might as well be family because they’ve loved me through so much that I’d gladly drop it all to make my time theirs.
But when all you do is give again and again and again, the giving can empty you as it fills you up. My roles are wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. But I’m a real, live person outside of all of that. The definition of me is not so-and-so’s ___________. My value is greater than what I have done for someone else. So come talk to me! Compliment me. Ask if I’ve heard the nightly news or your new favorite song. Give me advice on a trustworthy auto repair shop and tell me about that Netflix binge that’s had you up for the last three nights. Share with me your woes of how poorly you drafted your fantasy team and make sure to chuckle when I tell you that I named mine On Sundays We Wear Pink. Make me laugh! I always need a hearty laugh…almost as much as I need to keep my identity rooted in who I am as an individual and not just what I can do for someone else.
I’m shy to start, but I promise I want to chat with you! I’m constantly busy juggling a hundred things in my hands and a thousand more in my mind, so I might forget to come up to you. I get bogged down in the lists, the plans, the wants, the needs, and the STUFF that has to get done again and again and again. I’m in my head so often that the rest of me is becoming invisible. See me. Remind me that I’m not a machine. Come talk to me! Chat me up wherever we are (Unless the baby has that look on his face. You’ll know it when you see it, and you should be ready to run!). Maybe we’ll be new best friends. Maybe it’ll be the best ten minutes that checkout line has ever seen. Maybe we’ll give the ladies on the bench behind us something to eavesdrop. Maybe you’ll breathe some life back into my weary bones and shake up my routine enough to remind me that there’s more to this lady than meets the eye.
And maybe next time I’ll come talk to you.