A few times now I’ve gotten complimented or referred to as though I somehow had my shit together, which is funny…because I’m bat-shit crazy.
Once an acquaintance of mine asked how I managed to keep the kids so well behaved and the house so clean and orderly. I took her to my room and showed her a hell-hole even the world’s most dedicated hoarder would be terrified of. Dirty clothes covered every inch of the floor. I had ten minutes from the time I knew she was coming to the time she would arrive, and in a frantic haste I threw a broken bar stool, some large, dirty pots and a fish tank overgrown with algae on the bed. You read that right…a fish tank. On my bed. As far as keeping the kids well behaved, I told her that up until the second she knocked on my door, the little one was trying to wipe a booger on the girl as she was trying to dunk him in the toilet.
Another time, my family spent the day on the beach with another family from my husband’s work. During part of a conversation, the wife referred to me as “laid back” and “calm.” I was flattered to be described that way, so later I was telling my husband about it. He laughed and laughed, then looked confused and said “It must’ve been because you were drinking on the beach all day.” This girl saw me sipping a margarita and smiling as my sundress danced around my ankles, my children giggling and hugging me while I dipped my toes in the lake. The sun set in a golden sky as waves crashed gently to the shore. She missed the episode earlier in the day, when the cooler was moldy and I was storming around the house screaming swear words in my “Satan voice” at the top of my lungs because I couldn’t find the stupid beach umbrella, while the kids beat the crap out of each other in the living room and the dog was scooting his butthole across the kitchen floor.
I get super proud when I realize I’m good at hiding my crazy. I’ve actually printed up a list of signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown, because I spend the majority of my life on the edge of insanity and I want to be ready…just in case. Of course there are some calm times, when I think I might actually know what I’m doing. There are times when we’re gathered around the table during family game night, laughing and consumed with happiness, and as I look around at my family, peace fills every crack of my heart. Then the little guy will irritate his big sister, who will in turn slam his face down into a cupcake causing him to sneeze sprinkles for a week. Dad will start yelling about how the kids are going to drive him crazy, which makes me feel defensive so I start yelling about how if anyone gets to go crazy around here I go first. (My family is going to make one lucky team of therapists very rich someday.)
Seriously though, none of us really have our shit together. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others. We’re all struggling to make it through this life doing the least amount of damage to ourselves and the one’s we love. Embrace the insanity and enjoy the crazy. It’s what makes life so interesting.
A quick shout out to my fellow “insane sister,” who left the most amazing message in my inbox for me. Thank you for thinking I had my shit together, and thanks even more for letting me know I’m not alone in my insanity. I’m so glad you found my blog!