We celebrated my sweet friend’s birthday with Italian takeout and our kids. Once dinner was over, the kids scurried off to the playroom. Our lady talk lasted about five minutes before the interruptions took control. It went something like this: talk, chase the crawler, talk, check on the screaming kiddos, talk and get the kids a drink. Now, what were we talking about?
After the fifth interruption (this is a guess…I wasn’t counting), my friend ran to her daughter’s room with her lil’ guy on her hip saying, “Heather, you must think my life is a zoo. I promise I am listening.”
I giggled at the use of the word “zoo.” I thought, uh, your life is so far from a zoo. First, you don’t have a smelly house or smelly kids. Second, you buy your food from Target, not an exotic pet food store. Third, I don’t see any cages for the said animals. Fourth, you don’t have on a uniform with the name of a zoo and khaki shorts. (However, you would look beautiful in that look.) Last, I don’t pay an admission fee to enter your home to see your family’s exhibit.
In her mind, the moments of craziness felt like a zoo. She is right. We all have zoos. We all give it our best. We all love each other through our zoo.
We live in the zoo unique to us. Based on your season of life, your own zoo will be unique to you. My friend stays home. I work in Corporate America. She lives in comfy yoga pants and tennis shoes. I wear dress pants, blouses and somewhat comfy 1” heels. She commutes to her kitchen. I commute in rush hour madness. Our zoos differ greatly. We know the realities and the struggles of our zoos and try our best to relate to each other. Please don’t compare your zoo to any other zoo. The comparison game only brings misery.
We handle the zoo in the best way we know how. We transform into zookeepers who care for others, play with others, feed others, nurture others and love others. We all strive to give our best to the ones that we love while being the best that we can be. Sometimes we make the right choices. Other times we make mistakes and learn from them. We struggle, get weary and want to quit. We engage, excel and conquer! No matter what, we wake up the next day and do it again!
We love each other even more in the midst of the craziness. We are not alone. We all do it. We are better together because we can learn from others. Someone who knows your current zoo can offer their experience and give hope. Someone who has never experienced your zoo can listen and provide a new perspective. Either way you build your support team, your cheerleaders, who love you for you and your zoo.
Define your current zoo. Embrace it with optimism, energy and faith. Love it with all you have. All our zoos make an exciting world for all who want to enjoy the field trip!