I was looking this afternoon, with more than a few twinges of envy, at the profiles of many of my friends on Facebook - those with no spouses or children and the accompanying early nights, early mornings, and "no longer nice" clothes. Maybe it's a case of "the grass is always greener," because I didn't exactly have a wild lifestyle even sans husband or children, but I couldn't help missing those days - hanging out with dear friends until the wee hours, going out to dinner (because at that point, I could afford it!), wearing pants that fit and being able to brush my hair. You know, the little things.
And maybe it's because those were the times that I could actually update my profile on Facebook (although I must admit, it didn't exist before I was married - it's been that long!) without interruption, or because I could go out with only a wallet and some keys (and no bag full of assorted yet sometimes necessary knick-knacks), and the only accidents I had to worry about involved cars, and not toddler pants.
It's my friends who have the time who keep the fullest profiles, and I imagine that when they've entered parenthood, they'll be focusing on more important pursuits than changing their status every five minutes or touting their most recent photos with gaggles of well-dressed, neatly-pressed friends (can you tell I'm a bit resentful?). Of course, these same friends are also quick to post a photo or video of one of my beautiful and brilliant children, and I can't help but feel a swell of pride. They are wonderful people - I'm just grumpy, I suppose.
Therein, I think, lies an underlying problem - I'm grumpy. There are no videos of me. I've become my children's mother. I am no longer Liz, the witty and brilliant woman, the cute and cool truth-seeker. No. I am mama. Who at this very moment is hiding a cell phone in her bra and edging the computer inch-by-inch away to keep them from the drooley jaws of a ravenously teething 8 month-old. I know that this is a stage, and that all too quickly, I'll be looking at my daughters' Facebook profiles (or whatever new-fangled fad is around in ten years) and seeing comments from boys. Good Lord - bring me back! I understand all of this very logically. But I still miss the attention.
I was talking with my dear Gramma (hi, Gramma!) - who is almost 90, but is a wonderful gutsy woman, who still lives alone in her wonderful magical house, and writes an email to the family every night - yesterday, and we were talking about music lessons and fulfilling potential and things of that nature, and I realised that it isn't really about being the biggest or the best - it's about being YOUR best. I was reminded of a quote from Baha'u'llah:
The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle. The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man's hand, the portion of others might fill a cup, and of others even a gallon-measure.
Essentially, it doesn't matter that I'm not the best or most famous. My work is to make certain that I'm the best at being me. And of making sure that I fulfill my potential - whatever that is at this time in my life.
So maybe I'm not celebrating the world's most largely-attended party and "going out" means the grocery store, but I'm working at being the best I can be. So there.
And, just to make sure that I'm still the best at something else, I've got the market cornered for cute photos of my kids. Here's a little taste of that. You can even see part of my face.