Mom’s Musings by: Beth Biermann
I’m going to make a statement that may seem obvious, but here it is: Real life is not like the movies…
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, as our family goes through many changes in a very short period of time. Big life changes are typically what movies are about, so when we’re going along living a normal, routine life, I don’t often compare us to fictional families.
But when our lives are filled with the chaos of new jobs, selling a house, buying a house and moving – all within a three month period – it can start to feel like the plot of a movie that I’m watching, and not at all like the normal routine life we were living just a few short months ago.
While our family does not always solve our problems or resolve our arguments at the end of a two hour movie, we do sometimes bear an uncanny resemblance to some fictional families – most notably, the Quimbys of the Ramona series (first a book and then a movie a few years ago). In fact, we took our girls to see the movie three summers ago (it really doesn’t seem that long ago!!) before we ever told them that we were expecting another baby.
My husband and I found ourselves staring at the screen, a little in shock that our family was soon going to be very much like the Quimbys – two older girls growing up with a much younger baby sister who could simultaneously invoke feelings of adoration and disgust.
In one particular scene, the middle daughter tries to feed the baby pureed peas and is thanked for her efforts with a spray of peas to her own face.
While our little one hasn’t spit any food into her big sisters’ faces (that I’m aware of, anyway!), they can get disgusted with her at times, most often as it relates to her diaper changes.
They definitely have many more sweet, funny and loving moments that would be worthy of a movie scene. Our middle daughter, soon after the baby was born, told someone that she loved her so much that she didn’t even mind when she screamed.
My kids don’t always get along, nor do they always end up with their arms around each other, having learned a valuable lesson at the end of a dramatic scene. But what they lack in neatly wrapped up fictional endings, they more than make up for in real life memorable moments…The way they make my heart soar when they give me a goofy grin, pat my back, sing a song (whether it’s in the car or on stage) or give each other kisses and hugs…The way they inspire me when they show their kind and generous hearts to others, ask thought provoking questions (our oldest at age seven asking us to explain the entire election process, in detail, during a two hour car ride) and overcome their fears.
Our lives may not have recorded laugh tracks perfectly timed for scripted jokes. What we have is real laughter, most often in response to our girls’ silly antics, jokes and comments about life in general. Our middle daughter did just that when I greeted her on her fifth birthday with “Good morning, five year old!” and she responded, “Good morning, thirty four year old!”
I even provide some comic relief at times myself. My oldest still talks about the night that I put her in the tub with her socks on, more than 10 years ago now.
Our lives may not have a soundtrack of carefully chosen music, timed to coincide with major plot lines. What we have instead is live music of all forms, mostly provided by our girls – playing piano, flute, piccolo, and drums. And I’m not just talking about our older two girls – the two year old has done her fair share of plunking out some notes on the piano and reaching way above her head to try her hand at tapping out some rhythms on her big sister’s drum.
I’ve written about many of the routine aspects and major life changing events of my family’s real life over the past seven years right here in this little column. However, my real life has gotten to the point that I need to focus on living it and forgo writing about it. This will be my last Mom’s Musings column. Life circumstances being what they are, all of our schedules are getting busier and we’ve had some huge changes in the past few months and several more coming up very soon – a new job for me, full-time daycare for our two year old, a new home, and new schools for my big girls.
So, back to my obvious statement, with a little addition – Real life is not like the movies…it’s better. If this were a movie, I know exactly what the soundtrack would be playing right now.
Sometimes a popular song will actually seem to very closely mirror what we are experiencing as a family. That is definitely the case with a song called “Home” by Philip Phillips. The lyrics that strike me in particular are: “Hold on to me as we go; As we roll down this unfamiliar road; And although this wave is stringing us along; Just know you’re not alone; ‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home.”
I will miss writing about my experiences as a mom for any of you who enjoy reading about them. But now I need to make sure that our new house, new schools and new routines become our new normal – I need to make this place our home. Thank you for reading!