Today I had an important conversation with my six year old. While brushing his hair, he turned to me and said, “You know, I’m going to make this one of my life goals for this year.” Life goals? We have been talking about goal setting all week! We painted a collage of intentions! Had this resonated with his little soul? Had he spent time in introspective analysis? The intrigue! Casually I urged, “Tell me about it.” “Brushing my hair,” he replied. (Obviously, mom.) “I am going to set a goal to try to brush my hair every day this year.”
And this is how my days usually go.
I try to live inspired. The phrases and little breezes of poetry cascading across my mind are constant. But they are rarely uninterrupted. I regularly converse with a three year old who, seventy percent of the time, is deep in recounting his former life as a baby ninja turtle in which he could freely eat marshmallows and jump off furniture and ride dinosaurs and stay up really, really late. (I don’t think he is quite sure what it is that ninja turtles actually do.) Tonight, in desperation, I shouted over the miserable cries of the inconsolable newborn in my arms to the giggling boys in the tub, “Okay!! It’s time to get out of the bath!” “But, Mom, we haven’t even washed off -” “That’s alright! You had a really good bath last night.”
You had a really good bath last night? Did I really just say that? Is that even proper grammar? Honestly, I’m not even sure anymore. I haven’t read a book in a really long time. (It’s one of my life goals.)
It can be difficult to feel as though you are creating or contributing or thinking or even functioning, really, when you stay home with small children all day. Especially if you have a tiny little human who is just six weeks new. All of the intentions and vision boards and collages in the universe can’t provide much clarity when your company is a band of raucous hooligans hyped up on their Christmas candy cane stash. But do we really need clarity to live inspired? Maybe it’s about finding inspiration in the chaos. Maybe it’s about finding companionship in the little fingers happily painting all over the intention collage with reckless abandon. Maybe it’s about finding connection in the tiny sighs of relief that follow the screech-cry as someone brand new to this place trusts you to be their only comfort. Maybe it’s about finding wisdom in the conversation with the kid who has decided to brush his hair every day, a pretty noble goal for someone too enamored with life to want to waste one second on tangles. Maybe it’s the word “LOVE” that was painted in bubble letters right below 2016. Maybe it’s knowing that every single thing you need to live life fully is right beside you, waiting for you to make a peanut butter sandwich and talk about ninjas.