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What’s in Your Cracker Jack Box?

As I read Sarah’s beautiful and poetic motherly post, “Standing. Fighting. Trying., I couldn’t help but reflect on how much our lives as mothers evolve through the course of our passage.

Sarah is at the beginning of her Motherhood Journey. She is with her shiny, moldable child with the new car smell. Me? In his second year of college, My son just made me a grandmother to a demon dog. Also, I have a Senior in high school with my daughter. Oh, how the times have changed.

For me, the blush is off the rose. We’ve been through thick and thin. These are what I call the Cracker Jack Days.

What are the Cracker Jack Days?

Remember when you were a kid, and you would excitedly eat your Cracker Jacks to reach the prize at the bottom of the box? It was a sweet treat with a tiny toy at the end!

Motherhood is like that Cracker Jack box, except you find a razor blade instead of a plastic pinball machine at the bottom of the box. And that razor blade cuts the ever-loving hell out of your fingers.

Seriously, I realized there is a final chapter to motherhood where you get to see all the mistakes you made raising your children, hence the razor blades in Cracker Jacks.

I know you’re thinking, “What kind of bee got in your Badass BetchShorts that has you acting all bitter, Lyssa?”

It’s called having a teenage girl heading to college next year. It is the scariest of all ages and types of humans.

Hadley is positive she is completely grown up now, while I’m grasping onto my baby dumpling for dear life. And now, two females who were best friends have to navigate real motherhood/daughterhood. I’ll tell you what, it sucks.

I’m beginning to realize that maybe I laughed a little too much and should have disciplined more with my kids. Also, I probably should have been less of a friend and more of a mom. But, unfortunately, it’s hard to know the magic formula to make imperfect humans into perfect citizens.

If I’m truthful (and suppress that wretched inner voice that Sarah warned us about in her blog), I did the very best I could with what I had to offer. I gave 100% of myself to motherhood.

But, if I’m honest with myself, 100% of myself is not 100% of what my children need all of the time.

That brings me to an epiphany.

Mothers (and women in general) expect perfection from themselves.

Ridiculous, right?

I’ve come to realize a few facts that I think we all need to recognize.

Our job as a mother is not to create perfect humans but to nurture healthy individuals with the free will to make their own decisions. We have to find the peace that we will not always agree with them or like their choices. We may not always land on the same page, but as long as we are in the same book, that has to be good enough for us.

This epiphany made me realize my Cracker Jack box didn’t have a razor blade at the bottom. It was actually a beautiful rose. I just grabbed it by the thorns.

Are you grabbing your roses by the thorns?

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Apr 02, 2022

I like Cracker Jacks as a kid but I didn't like the peanuts so those were quickly discarded (sometime spit out) so that I would enjoy the wonderful caramel popcorn although a little stale and tasting a bit like the cardboard box it came in. And then there was the prize. I always hoped for stickers are better yet tattoos!! As I write that and think about what you were saying Lyssa (still the coolest way to spell our name) and it struck me as well. I was not fortunate enough to have kids of my own, while I wanted them with my whole heart in my 20's by the time I hit 35, it was a conscious decisio…

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That's very sweet, Lisa! It warms my heart. I suspect my kids will be very successful, but it might be IN SPITE OF their crazy mother!

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