A Life Well Lived

Tugga, Tugga, Tugga…my last baby, is nearly nine years old.  Tonight he told me that when we go camping, he wants to bring his roller skates.  You know, so I can tow him behind my car.  (Or maybe HELL NO!!!)  Brenna, my first baby, who is old enough to know better, says, “My dude… I will tow you behind my car.”  (Note to self:  Brenna is no longer qualified to babysit.)  Luke says…”Ooh, can we?”  And that’s how I know they’re mine.  Miss Shannon runs from squirrels like there is a hell hound on her heels, but never, ever from actual danger that could kill, maim, or otherwise inconvenience her.  I call it having a life well lived.  Sometimes… I get so bogged down in the minutia that I forget how I love an adrenaline rush, a good thunderstorm and getting out of my own way.

My little Tugga asked me the other day what was my favorite thing to do when I was a kid.  I told him I liked to play on my swing set and read books… He was very, very surprised.  He said, “Momma, I thought you were going to say your favorite thing was cleaning.”  What in the name of all that is good and holy am I teaching this kid????  Here’s what’s worse… I shared what I thought was a funny story about a little kid not understanding being an adult with Dozer and he, like my eight-year-old, was absolutely shocked to learn that I do not enjoy cleaning.  I am quite certain that there are women on earth who enjoy these tasks… Miss Shannon is not one of them.  I clean my house because I want to live in a clean house, I’m the mom and it is my job.  It’s an adult task, not exactly a blast…kinda like paying the electric bill.  Yet, two of the people nearest and dearest to me think it is my all-time favorite pastime.  As women, we often put aside the things that bring us joy in favor of required tasks.  Miss Shannon is calling shenanigans, because dammit, women matter, too.

I got a little perspective today on a bike run.  I participated in a very nice ceremony honoring fallen vets… then we stopped at an ice cream place where a particular family was honored.  We missed most of it but what I really saw was two little kids, maybe two and four.  The little boy wore his daddy’s dog tags and the little girl carried a bear wearing fatigues.  Mama carried their wedding photo.  Those kids are babies who will never know their father.  Thank you for your service seems a little pale in comparison.  That guy died in the service of this country, so people like me can bitch about housework and politics and taxes.  Instead of feeling guilty, I choose to make my life matter.  I will continue to raise good human beings.  I will continue to work for causes that I think matter… hunger, domestic violence, children and vets.  I will enjoy the life that I am afforded because of people like this man, whose name I don’t even know.  Miss Shannon urges you to do the same.

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