Tangled Expectations

I recently became the owner of a upgraded iPhone (apparently the Zack Morris brick model is outdated) and have spent a few moments trying out the ringtone options. As one played an upbeat tune, it reminded me of one of the songs from the movie Tangled, the recent Disney take on Rapunzel. Sadly and unsurprisingly, I immediately began singing the lyrics.

7:00am the usual morning line-up. Start on the chores and sweep till the floor’s all clean

Polish and wax, do laundry and start to shine up

Sweep the den and by then it’s like…7:15

 Goodness…she is describing my morning line-up! Well, between 5:30 and 6:30 I’ve also gotten two boys out of bed, fed and changed them and sometimes unloaded the dishwasher but she’s on target! Well, now that my mind was started I couldn’t just stop mid-song. The similarity had to be explored.

And so I’ll read a book, or maybe two or three…

Reading a book for myself? Not a chance. However, I do read to Firstborn although he still doesn’t pay much attention. Yes, I know other 3 year olds can sign the words to 18 books in French, but that’s a discussion for another time.  For now my three books are mostly about shapes, colors and animals. Moving on.

I’ll add a few new paintings to my gallery

I have amazing technique with a Magic Eraser, disinfecting wipes, and towels. I mostly clean up the various forms of drool and booger artwork on the walls and glass. Thank you, Mr. Miagi for the technique lessons. Wax on, wax off…paint the fence.

I’ll play guitar and knit, then cook and basically wonder when will my life begin

Woah, woah, woah. While my air guitar rocks, you lost me at knit. I can only get the cooking done in the time it takes this sequestered princess to do all three. Instead I’ll just silently applaud the knitting projects I see pictures of on facebook. Some of my friends are ridiculously talented. In my world, it’s time to set up the PBJ assembly line.

Then after lunch its puzzles and darts and baking

Accurate! Well, darts are mostly made out of anything Firstborn can find and launch while I’m taking the occasional cookie batch out of the oven. He’s so ‘resourceful’. Does reassembling furniture cushions or the kitchen count as a puzzle?

Paper mache, a little ballet and chess… pottery and ventriloquy, candle making

Then I’ll stretch, maybe sketch, take a climb, sew a dress

Then I’ll reread the books if I’ve got time to spare

I’ll paint the walls some more- I’m sure there’s room somewhere

And then I’ll brush and brush and brush my hair and wonder when will my life begin

tangled2

 Okay, now the girl is livin’ la vida Pintrest. She’s well-rounded, skilled, productive, and waiting for the opportunity to escape what I, and most honest people occasionally covet; an entire day free of all responsibilities and interruptions to do whatever I please with a friend! Unfortunately, Rapunzel is also dealing with the problems of what happens after the adventure of meeting the handsome hero and then adding a few little ones to the mix. There’s no one to clean the castle and the girl doesn’t get out much. Most the days can feel routine and there is no escaping life’s issues. Our lovely and capable princess is a kidnapping victim, deals with an emotionally damaged relationship (and possibly Stockholm’s syndrome), runs away with the kind of guy her mother warned her against, faces major emotional angst when it comes to life choices, hangs out with the tough criminal crowd at a pub, and is on the run from the local law enforcement. Oh, and she mumbles. Yikes.

It sounds a bit like real life, doesn’t it? Sometimes I wonder when the chaos will stop and my ‘real’ life will begin. At that moment there is usually a crash or cry to answer that question. I’ve really been pondering my schedule and how I handle the responsibilities of running my home and raising my sons. I’m also responsible for MY life along the way- multitasking at its finest. There is time for the fine arts, culinary skills, cleaning, etc.- but not all at once. Lately I’ve been so caught up in ‘finding the balance’, ‘treasuring the moments’, ‘enjoying my sweet babies’, and ‘taking the time for what’s important’ that I am liable to burst into tears during a diaper pit-stop. (“ I can’t watch Toy Story 3! Firstborn will go to college in 17 years!” –Flash flood alert! Please, please pray for my poor husband!) I claim “just had a baby” privilege.

flynn

It can be really hard to balance out responsible planning for the future and living one day at a time. Doing what is important for today is often essentially linked to the several years down the line. If I ignore the dishes and laundry to teach and play with the kids all day, we end up thawing a frozen pizza and rediscovering the bottom of the unmentionables drawer. That’s all well and good for a few days (unless it’s during a deployment) but it can’t be an everyday thing.

I think I’ll have to take a lesson from Rapunzel. She was waiting for life to begin, but it was already happening. Her life, while full, was not about all the activities, skills or production. She was sure of herself, confident in her untapped potential and ready to challenge the negative influences in her life. It took the right circumstances, but she left the tower of her surroundings- her safe, protective comfort zone. When her dream was realized, she found a new dream.

I think Rapunzel’s dream was a great one– to break out of the imprisoning surroundings and seek out that which lights the darkness. Although the chaos of motherhood sometimes tempts me toward Rider’s dream (to be on an island that I own, tan, rested and alone, surrounded by enormous piles of money) in the long run the ruffian was right.  That dream stinks.

With days full of the mildly important or entertaining, it can be easy to forget that life is happening. Your life has begun- what are you going to do with it? Are you in a trapped in a tower of boredom? Too many activities? Busyness that doesn’t amount to much?  Are you trapped in a tower that you or someone else made? Do you want out? Everyone wants a break from their circumstances sometimes. It’s okay- healthy even. If you really look at your life and realize you aren’t living it the way you’d like to, seize that opportunity! Take life by the hair! Start to untangle your mess! After all, a thief breaking in and changing our life for the better only happens in fairy tales. Keep a frying pan handy and live your dream.

frying pans

I’m right behind you…as soon as I fix my hair.

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