real life.

From my post on Instagram today,

Thinking about a mama I follow on IG who's preemie baby boy is fighting for his life today. Reading his story brings a flood of memories back to me of our time in the CICU...watching my newborn baby boy go into cardiac arrest; a wave of doctors, nurses, & social workers huddled around us & around Elliott; one nurse giving him chest compressions. That was the ugliest time in my entire life and I realize now how completely blessed we are to have both our babies at home, heathy and happy, this season. I can't ignore the fact that it could've gone the other way but didn't. I can't ignore that there are countless other families watching their babies fight for their lives in NICUs & CICUs & other ICUs across the globe this season...Please pray for baby Miles today. For all of Elliott's heart brothers & sisters waging their war. And for all the families that had had to say goodbye too soon. This alone puts it into perspective for me. I am blessed. There's no question.

Sometimes it is beyond hard to filter through all the stuff I pour through on social media and find a semblance of real life. I'll be the first to admit it. Sometimes I catch my children doing something cute, and I'll whip out my camera and push the clutter out of the frame, only to find that when my camera is ready, the moment is gone. So I kids to do it again, but forcing them only frustrates them and jumbles their mood. It's not real life that I am trying to capture. It's what I want my life to look like. 

My life is messy. My heart is messy. While I have been forced to take the big girl pill a few times in my life I still find myself thinking inward about what I want outward. But look. At those photos up there. Aren't they just gorgeous? Everything I find in those frames above, in the awkwardness of real life, it's all I have needed all along. 

And so.... what is real life, anyway? Is it the hardest day of my life, watching my child slip away and come back in a matter of moments? Or is it years later, the monotony of routine, day in and day out, until you feel like your sense of self is slipping away? Maybe things like social media are meant to be a creative outlet, coloring outside the lines of neatly drawn, monochromatic pictures with the brightest colors in the box. Maybe social media is a way to tap into what's really happening in life. Ferguson. Nigeria. NICUs & CICUs. The ugly stuff. The world's evils. The stuff that can't be helped. Real life. This blog is a reflection of my life, but in truth I don't put my whole self on here. I am pretty honest on my blog about what goes on in my family life, but there is quite a few things I've avoided touching on here. Religion, politics, current events. I've avoided talking about those things for a reason, in part.... because they are too real. 

Thinking about this Instagram friend of mine... it felt so real. Thinking about her little boy having to be resuscitated, so tiny, so pure, barely having lived life and yet touching mine. Taking me back to two years ago, bringing back gritty feelings, the arthritis I got in my wrists from pure stress, the hair falling out. My mouth got dry when I read about baby Miles today and my heart fell to the floor. Watching your child get chest compressions because he is slipping away is something no mother should have to see, and yet I am willing to bet that some mother, somewhere, right now, is seeing it. Her heart is on the floor as her whole world crashes around her. It just makes me sad.

Real life is about sadness, though. It is about happiness and sadness and love and spirituality. Music, art, shelter, good food. Love. Did I say that already? Love. I guess a part of me that wants to push the clutter out of frame before I post something is the part of me that wants to share my love for my two babies. For the obstacles we've pushed down, for the fight we fought. We fought good. If I can celebrate the good stuff, a new word, something cute that they're doing, a pretty pie I baked, my Christmas decor, I owe it to myself and my family to mark those moments. To push the crap out of frame that annoys me, ask them to do it again, because it's worth remembering. It may not be the exact picture of life at the moment, but it's the stuff I am holding onto, deep in my heart. It's real life that I want to remember, and right now, it's pretty damn good.