Last week, we went to Seattle on a improptu family trip/a business errand for Richard. We rode the ferry over to Seattle, ran the errand Richard needed to do, went to a mall with a playground to let the kids play around, had some food, and took the ferry back home. Doesn't sound like much, but by the end, the kids were dirty (Liam had chocolate milk which was all down the front of him). Dirty, but O so happy.
We pulled up in line in our dirty mini-van (dirt roads + rain), car full of stuff we brought for the trip, trash from the kids food, 2 happy but worn out parents, and 2 happy but dirty children. To the side of us pulled a brand-new mustang, perfectly clean, with a beautiful lady driving it. Perfectly manicured. Perfect hair. A business suit. Sitting in the car on her smartphone. Alone.
For a second, I looked down at my pregnant body, and up at my tired face and messy hair. And felt a little insecure. Liam was so excited to get out of the car and watch the water, so we scooped our giddy children out of the car and went to show them around the ferry. Instantly, when I saw their dirty, smiling faces who were so excited to see us, all my insecurities were forgotten. We had fun running around the boat, playing hide-and-seek and laughing. At the end of the ride, we came back down to our car, opened it to reveal its messiness, played with the kids a little more and buckled them up to leave. We had to wait in our car to disembark the ferry for a bit, and I kept thinking about the girl to our left.
But my thoughts changed.
I looked in the rear-view mirror to see 2 wonderful, darling children. My gorgeous children. I looked to my left and saw the smiling face of the love of my life and best friend.
And it hit me.
I was the lucky one. I was the one whose heart is full and brimming over with love for my family. I have another one coming. My car is full of stuff because we had a family adventure. My kids were dirty because they were playing so hard. My hair was messy because Liam loves to play with my hair while he gives me hugs. I was tired because the night before I talked too long with my lover before bed.
My life is so full. So wonderful.
As we pulled off the ferry, I did so with a smile.
And a prayer of gratitude in my heart that I am where I am, and with the people I am.
And I felt so lucky to have a dirty mini-van full of my kids and dear husband.
I saw the emptiness that could have been, and felt my heart swell with gratitude that my life is so full. Of love, blessings, memories, finger prints, fishy crackers, diapers and smiling faces.