“This is as good as it gets,” a new friend said, running through the sprinkler with his kid over his shoulder. The boy was shrieking, laughing, the summer sun not yet wanting to set.
I stood and watched as Little O followed, grinning, his shorts a
nd tee soaked, his lips faded and shivering, but, like summer, refusing to leave.
We were at a new friend’s home and this was the this, the as-good-as-it-gets moment, summer and sprinklers, bare feet and wet grass, watermelon dripping down chins, not a hint of breeze in the air. On the surface, I saw what he saw in this moment. But I felt somewhat numb to it, going through the motions of the day, wondering how many tantrums it would take to get O to leave, how we would change into the extra clothes we had forgotten to pack, the wet car-ride home, the dinner he would later refuse to eat, the bedtime he might ignore.
I was tired, exhausted really, and this was a moment that, at one time in my life, I might have marveled at in the same way, but, for some reason, I was removed from. I longed to get inside of it. I felt ashamed of not being able to fuss or fight my way in.
I don’t know what I’m mired in. Doubt or shame or guilt or fear or or or. I can’t tell if others aren’t really sharing the truth of their lives or if my truth is just entirely different. I only know I’m not the person who sees as-good-as-it-gets moments as well as she once did.
They say be present. But I don’t know that I’m not. Maybe it’s okay to stand outside of a moment every once in a while and acknowledge it’s not exactly the moment you wish it was.
Maybe it’s better to admit that your truth isn’t as good as good gets so you can more easily recognize when it is.