“Life is like a box of chocolates,” the famous saying goes. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Just days after Valentine’s Day and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mom getting a sugar rush from consuming the equivalent of a box of chocolates (courtesy of the massive stash of candy the kids brought home from school). And all this chocolate has got me thinking about that quote and how relevant it really is for my life as a mom.
While normally, I might agree with Forest’s mama, lately I feel mostly like life is a box of crayons. I mean, can you blame me?
- Crayons on the walls.
- Crayons on the table.
- Crayons on the floor.
- Crayons in my daughter’s mouth.
- Crayon’s everywhere!
Life is colorful as a parent.
Boxes of chocolate, while tasty, have unpredictable fillings. You just never know for sure what is inside until you taste it. (You might also want to inspect the outside for damage because my kindergartner spilled the box on the floor, not once, but twice!)
Real life, through this mama’s eyes, is more like choosing a color from a box of crayons: You know what color you’re picking, but you don’t always know exactly what to color with it.
Hear me out. Life is full of decisions, right?
- What school to attend?
- What major to select?
- What guy to date?
- What to wear to a party?
- What to name your child?
- Where to live?
- What job to apply for?
- What to order from the menu?
So, so, so many colors to choose from. The options are all there, plain as day, ripe for the picking, but how do you decide which one to color with?
How do you know for sure if you’ll use the English lit major you select? Or that you’ll enjoy attending a large state school versus a small community one? Will you really be okay living in the suburbs or should you have chosen the city apartment instead? Should you really have named your child Luke, only to regret it when they make another Star Wars movie?
You see what I mean?
Life is full of colorful choices. We get to choose so many things, from so many colors. And then, we must own up to those choices, those colors, and make the most of it.
What colors are on your pallet?
Did you choose to marry Prince Charming and live in a palace and have 10 kids, a nanny, a maid, and a butler?
Did you marry your high school sweetheart, ditch your career for your kids, and buy a mini-van you swore you’d never want?
As much as I sometimes wish I could erase some of the drawings I’ve created with my color choices, I cannot (not even Magic Eraser can clean this up). The best we can do when we feel like we’ve colored a horrible mess is to move forward, pick up a blank sheet of paper and start drawing again. Make new choices. Create a new plan with different colors.
Just like your child’s drawings have no right way to be drawn, neither will your life. You cannot make a mistake. Your drawing won’t be perfect or look like anyone else’s, but it isn’t supposed to be. Would you ever tell your child that the picture they drew was ugly? No! Same is true for you. Give yourself a break and accept that the decisions you make when you paint your picture will not be perfect (or as picture perfect as you see in Parents or HGTV Magazines).
But that’s what makes you who you are. Only you can be you, no one else.
No, life isn’t always like a box of chocolates, but there is always a box of crayons lying around here somewhere, just waiting for you to pick up a color and draw.
What masterpiece will you leave behind for your kids today?