I woke up this morning and rolled over to look at my phone, praying it was only 5 AM so I could get my exercise in. Nope, it was after 6 and I silently cursed myself for not setting my alarm. Then I felt grateful that I actually slept through the night which I’ve been doing more of lately. So, I don’t get to exercise today. I could either beat myself up or set an alarm for tomorrow. Today, I am enough just as I am, without exercise. We are all enough just as we are. As cliché as the saying may have become, I still love it and say it to myself all of the time. So many of us don’t feel like we are enough. We feel inadequate in our roles in this life as mother, wife, friend, lover, daughter, sibling. Me included. We think, “If I could have done this or that just a little bit better, everything would be alright.” Everything is alright. You are alright. You are enough.
I always struggled with being a good enough stay at home mom. This is something that deserves an entire post but for the sake of today, let’s just say I was flying by the seat of my pants. I was never a very “house wifey” person, hated cooking and hated the grocery even more. Often, if we’d run out of something at home, instead of dragging myself to the dreaded grocery, I’d run through a place called the Farmstore. It’s a teeny, little hole in the wall drive through store that you can drive up to for things like milk, detergent, bread and a whole list of other things I’m aware they carry that most of you probably aren’t. The best idea ever. Let me just say, unashamedly, that we went through the Farmstore often. I’d go so far as to say I did my “mild” grocery shopping there at times. I never realized how much the Farmstore had become an institution in our lives until the day I took my little boys to Build a Bear for a mommy/son date.
One summer day, we headed off to the mall to beat the heat, have lunch and do the whole Build A Bear thing. I was excited as this is exactly the kind of mushy thing I enjoyed doing with my kids. The boys were probably around 5 and 3. We ate lunch and headed off to get our new friends and I just couldn’t wait to watch them do the whole thing. My oldest chose a cute dog and got what I think was a heart to make a wish on and put it inside him. Then we watched as they stuffed him and stitched him up. And then the big moment. You get to give your new friend a name. With excitement and conviction, my oldest chose the name “Buddy” for his dog and off he went. Now it was time for my little guy to get his new friend.
My younger one chose a cute cow. The cow got stuffed with his heart and stuffing. The youngest did not make a wish because he was barely talking at all, so I made a wish for him, blew him a kiss and then he was sewn up with my wish inside. Then came the big moment. The name. I asked my little one what he wanted to name his cow and he looked at me silently. I asked him again, and he uttered some two syllable word so quietly I couldn’t understand him. This went on several times and finally the lady that had been helping us looked at me, also quizzically, and said, “I think he’s saying Farmstore.” I laughed, a little too hysterically, and said that couldn’t be right. I bent down to my little boy and asked him again, “Sweetie, what do you want to name your cow?” I leaned in so I could be sure I caught the correct name this time. He quietly but very clearly said, “Farmstore.” There was no denying it. The Farmstore sign had a giant cow on it. This sign had become a fixture in my son’s mind, a part of his life and he recognized and chose the cow because of it. For a split second I felt like a total loser of a mom. Then I looked at my little boy and said very loudly, “FARMSTORE the cow! I love it!” I looked at the woman who was helping us, and staring at me with a blank expression, laughed, saying, “Isn’t that place the greatest?” with a huge smile plastered on my face. She forced a smile back and said, “Yes it is. ” For a moment I felt a little judged but then I decided I didn’t care. We took Buddy and Farmstore home to join our family.
I still have Farmstore somewhere and I love and laugh at the memory. Yes, my son had chosen a cow and named him Farmstore. And, for a brief moment, I’d let it get to me instead of seeing the joy and humor in it. I’d let it make me feel like I wasn’t enough. Did I have food on the table every night for my children? Of course I did because I was enough to give them what they needed. Back then I may not have felt like it, but I’m still here, they’re still here, and we laugh hard at the memory of Farmstore the Cow.
Are you still here? Even after all of those times in your life when you felt like you weren’t enough? That’s because you were just enough for whatever life was handing you and you were so enough that you made it through. Just like we will today.