For example, four years ago, the best compliment I thought I had ever received was something about some silly wedding invitation order. If I spelled everything correctly, checked your wedding date for accuracy thirty-one times, and got everything printed in the right color ink, on the right paper, then life was good. If you, the bride, acknowledged this labor of love, then I had arrived. I am not sure where, but arrived all the same. After years of working with them, I can honestly and accurately tell you that brides don't dish out the compliments often. When they do take notice of your blood, sweat and tears, you scoop them up and befriend them for life. Yeah. Four years ago, my job was my life. It brought me happiness and fufillment. That sounds as silly to read as it does to type. Just trust me and keep reading, ok? I promise, it gets less shallow as you continue.
A couple of months ago, the best compliment I ever received (I guess I keep up with these things in case of emergency on my blog... when I really need something to talk about that might be entertaining) was from one of Jordin's sweetest friends. She walked into my house, curls bouncing, looked around, and said, "WOW! This looks just like something right out of Country Living!" For those of you who might not know, Country Living is a magazine here in the ... country...is equivalent to "Southern Living," or "Coastal Living," etcetera. For us southern girls, it's the bible of style for your home. It's like telling me that OH! Rachael! You must have lost fifty pounds, because you look SO SKINNY! I am usually reserved about my house - it is, after all, 125 years old (yes, I am not kidding) has no real closets to speak of, and not one hallway. Our house doesn't look like the ones in the neighborhoods or even the ones that were built you know, fifty years ago. If I had impressed even one small person when they walked in to my living room, then I must be doing 1/32 of something right. I mean, COUNTRY LIVING? Yes, please. I continued to basque in this glory right up until yesterday, when I carefully arranged 18 miniature pumpkins on my mantel in the dining room. Hey. I have a standard to keep up with. And you never know when the photographer might knock at my door and demand a photoshoot in my house. I won't be holding my breath. I will however, be hiding stacks of folded laundry.
However. Just the other day, I received the compliment that ices the cake of my life. With buttercream frosting. A new friend had just dropped off my teenager, and came inside for a brief tour of The Farmhouse. On this tour, I might mention, I am frequently known to be shoving aside baby toys with my feet - and during this particular one, I had left Jordin to supervise both babies, who were recreating the Nile in my bathroom. As our tour concluded (yes, I even showed her the flood damage in the kitchen ceiling - just keepin' it real, ya'll) I needed to excuse myself... "I have left Jordin with BOTH babies in the bathtub...." And. Just then. The response that made me turn on my heels. "OH," she said, "I didn't know you had TWO babies!" Well then. You didn't? You mean to say you didn't notice the stack of sippy cups in my sink? You mean that the spilled diaper bag at the front door didn't give it away? What's that? You can't tell that for the past two days, I haven't had a shower? Well. Well. Well.
And that's when I realized, at age 32... mother of four children... two of those toddlers... that I had truly... arrived. Who really cares about wedding invitations or the pages of a magazine? It turns out I just might have this motherhood thing under control. Even if only barely. Straight to my head. Yep. That was my ego you just heard inflating. What was that slogan we used to hear for Virgina Slims cigarrettes? "You've come a long way, baby."
Let's just not ask any of the children for their opinion. Mmmmkay? This is not a democracy, after all.