My friend Mackenzie and I decided to take the kiddos to a cool park a couple of days ago. It's kind of state-parkish, wide-open spaces, trails, playground, and one of those covered areas for parties and such. We picked up dinner and sat down on a blanket next to the play area so Miles and Olivia could play while the babies "chilled" with us. There was a wood tick. And diarrhea. But I won't get into that.

There was some kind of gathering of important looking people in the shelter nearby. Three of the business men from the party (dressed in casual, but still very obviously VIP), came over and stood right next to the blanket to discuss co-workers, talk on their phones, and refer to "cases." It was all very serious.

Every once and awhile Mackenzie and I would look at each other and give a knowing stare, like "why in the world do they have to stand RIGHT next to us, this is weird..." It's a really big place. We were even the only people in the playground area, yet they stood right next to us? The sidewalk is even big. So I don't really know why they had to stand over us. But they did, so we talked quietly and tried to pretend it wasn't totally odd.

Finally we just started talking about the weirdness openly, not quietly. We'd given each other enough "looks," rolling our eyes and trying to wait patiently for the guys to end the gossip and get back to the people they were talking about. And then it hit me. And so I said it out loud.

"We are such a stereotype right now."

We were frumpy-looking, tired, weary and grumpy stay-at-home-moms. At least that's what we were to these men who considered us invisible, not respecting our time or space. It wasn't a good feeling to realize that. And to know I'm probably not just jumping to conclusions. It could be that they were just in their own world, unaware of us. But if you were there, you would know along with us that we were simply invisible. Despite our calls of "be careful!" to Miles and Liv. Despite our children's laughter and our own really funny jokes. To these men, we were not there.

These are the moments that get me thinking a lot about my current role and identity. These are the moments when I remember why I named this blog "The Extraordinary Ordinary." Because any mom at any park is a whole lot more than what she appears to be. She carries a history of life and love, mistakes and joys, experiences and memories. They are hers, and they make her the mom that she is blessed enough to have become. She's funny and wise. Her heart is full to the brim with the love of her family. She is quirky and attractive in her very own way. She is mom and wife and sister, friend, daughter... She falls asleep with dreams of her previous, current and future lives, just as anyone does. She may not get the recognition she deserves, but she doesn't really have to care because what she does is more meaningful than anything she could receive an award for. As thankless as it may sometimes be, and with the fear that the sacrifices may never be noticed, she moves through her days, giving more of herself than she ever thought possible. And under all the fatigue and fears, she is loving this chance to be mom.

Invisible as I may sometimes be to the world, I am tangible proof to my kids that unconditional love exists. That's a whole lot better than recognition from the VIPs.

6 clicked right here to comment:

Sabrina said...

I've encountered "those" people. In away, I almost feel sorry for them... they are missing it, totally missing it.

Kimberly said...

This post was beyond brilliant, and even made me a bit sniffly. What an awesome realization to have had, and even beter...to be able to put so well into words.

JustRandi said...

Wow Heather. I love the insight, and I love the way you put it into words. Just wow.

Abra said...

I stumbled on your blog through Kimberly. I absolutely agree with you. The most prestigious, elegant, and highly decorated people are the most understated. People tend to forget how important moms are. It's a good thing we have our kids to remind us!ya

♥georgie♥ said...

I LOVE this post and see why you picked it as one of your Favs!

adlibby said...

another beautiful post! dang I'm just nuts about you now! =)

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