Yesterday was beautiful. The sun was warm, the wind was soft, the temperature comfortable, and the sky a beckoning blue. It was the kind of day you’d kill to spend outdoors with the kids.
But there I was, cooped up in my laundry room, trying to catch up after a weekend trip to New York. After laundry, there were emails that had to be sent for the PTO, dinner to be made for the kids, and bills to be sorted before heading to the ball field for an evening game.
Once I folded the last load (if there is such a thing), I leaned against the counter and pulled out my phone for a quick bit of Social relief. You know, a minute to escape my dimly lit house and peek in the windows of the rest of the world.
The first post on my feed was a family trip to the zoo. Round little faces pressed against the glass that separated them from the lions, and tigers, and bears. Oh my, was it adorable.
The second was a little boy, perched on the side of a dock, fishing rod in hand. The caption boasted about taking the time to slow down and enjoy the little things.
Scrolling through, I was met with images of family bike rides, strolls through the woods, trips to the farm and ice cream stands.
They were so cute.
And seriously irritating.
Those families stood in the warmth of the sun with the sound of birds chirping. The only heat I was soaking up was from the clothes coming out of the dryer, and the only sound I was serenaded with was the swishing water rolling around the dishwasher.
While most days, I’d be pushing my kids out the door to enjoy the weather, I hadn’t the urge to tell my boy to put down his Fortnite remote, or ask my daughter to turn off her YouTube station. I was stuck inside, so I didn’t press them to go out. I felt terrible that they were wasting the day indoors, but I had to surrender to the fact that we can’t always capitalize on those sunny day opportunities.
I can promise you that in the months to come, I’ll proudly post our family outings. But I want you to know that there will be just as many days, if not more, spent trudging through the necessary labors that keep us out of that sunshine. I have to stop feeling bad about it.
I see you. Sitting at your desk, gazing out the window, craving those moments, feeling less because you could be doing more. But in order to have those blissful days we’ve got to get shit done first. When providing for our children, we have to sacrifice quite a few gorgeous moments. Social Media might tempt us to believe that what we are doing today is less than others, but we have to realize that those images are just snapshots, just small minutes in between the hours of struggle.
It’s not always easy to watch friends enjoy the sunshine from the other side of the glass, but I’ve got to remember it’s a small window I’m looking through. There’s a bigger picture. A big wide world of people killing it in the hustle. And honestly, the hard work we put in makes those moments in the sun that much more beautiful.
Sunshine through windows may feel heartbreaking today, but tomorrow you might be the image that helps people push through the mundane. Though it’s not always easy, we have to embrace it because life happens, no matter what side of the glass you are on.