If you were a little ant and you were to crawl into my house around 7:30 in the morning, you would probably find me in some mismatched pajamas that Seth tries to burn but I manage to find and keep alive. And as you scurried along the trim of the ceiling, you would catch me with coffee nestled in hand, as I would get an IV of it if I could. You move your little beady eyes to the right to find that I was chugging my chocolate almond milk as well, as I have soft spot for all things sweet.
Then when you skivvied your way down to the floor you’d find me barefoot on our scrappy brick floors that I have come to adore because nothing besides a 500 pound elephant stomping on them can mess them up. You would then look up about 3 feet and see Roman shoveling a waffle or some kind of protein bar in his mouth while blurting out British jargon from watching too much “Thomas the Train”. Seth would have his face wedged in a book or be laying with his belly on the ground playing trains with Roman, while mama did her ten minute stare at the wall and try to wake up routine.
Then just as you thought, “these people are quite disheveled and crazy” and were ready to go back and visit your ant family and friends…you’d hear a voice. A deep, sultry voice fall over you.
The walls would vibrate.
Smiles would blossom on everyone’s faces.
And the voice would get louder. And louder.
You in your little ant brain would start to pound and you would think, “This guy again?!”
As you, the little ant, hear this voice sing each and EVERY morning. The same song. Sometimes one time. Sometimes four.
And yesterday on Mother’s day, he showed up again. At the push of a button, he made his presence known.
His name is Barry White. And each morning if we are lucky enough he serenades us with “Can’t get enough of your love baby”
Yup, that’s what we do around here in the morning in the Jennings household. Because Barry White’s voice makes all that is wrong in this world right. It can wake me up better than a cup of coffee sometimes.
So yesterday, was the same ole same ole…me in my crazy pajamas, Roman lining up his trains one by one, Seth standing across from me asking me what I wanted to do to celebrate the day, and Nicholas was there as well as he wanted to go to church with us because his mom had to visit her granny.
As the music crept into every crevice of the house while we all grooved around the kitchen, Roman tugged on my robe with his waffle stained, puppy paw hands and rolled his big brown eyes that look just like his daddy’s up at me and begged, “mama,lets’ dance…”
I nestled my coffee between my cookbooks as I was about to spill it, then I planted Roman firmly up on the counter so we would be the same height, and we boogied. I mean as much as a white girl with not a lot of funk can, we danced. Nicholas gave me pointers on my lack of suave moves and kindly insulted me with this gem of insight, “it’s ok, Ms. Lindsay, you can’t be good at everything…”
And I thought, “Ain’t that the truth…we can’t be it all. But whatever we are we should give it our all.”
So I gave it my all, with Roman as giddy as a little boy in a toy store, holding my hands so tight my knuckles were doing backbends, and nodding his head north and south, while puckering his little lips –his way of acknowledging every beat. As I stood there swaying back and forth, my robe fluctuating with the chorus, I was blissful.
Not because of Barry White. Not because I was a good dancer. Not even because it was Mother’s Day.
But because I was content with my life, happy with my life.
As the song descended, my joy ascended within me…because it was like Nicholas said,” you can’t be good at everything.”
For a lot of my life I wanted to be good at everything. I wanted to be everybody else. I wanted to compare myself to everybody else. I was burdened by who I was. I was burdened by who I wasn’t. I was scared of who I was. I was trying to be something I was not. Much like pretending to be a professional dancer when your feet are hurting like hell.
But after God’s grace and love set me free through brokenness…I came to realize this truth:
When the burden to compare yourself to everyone else becomes more daunting and heavy than the ability to walk your own path, well, you have found your freedom.
As I danced, with my life not perfect, but beautifully flawed, I smiled because this lesson was my gift. If it’s all I ever get out of life. Then I’ll keep on dancing…ever so imperfectly.