With five kids, not only have the last few weeks been filled with projects, exams, plans, costumes, banquets and like … but award ceremonies. So far, I’ve attended 2 banquets and 3 ceremonies with 2 more to go.

At one of the award celebrations, a gal I don’t know very well tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “This is your book!” She and her husband were sitting behind my friend and me, watching every kid but their own bound up the stage. “You know – I’m happy for you?” And she laughed – sort of.

She was right. Every parent in the large auditorium was doing their best to be happy for kid after kid racing up the stage-stairs to receive their medal(s). After the first round, the stair race began to sound like a musical-percussion concert as the medals of multiple award winners clanked against each other in time with their steps up the stairs and across the stage.

At the end of the night an older lady (maybe a grandmother or aunt) paused and comfort-patted me on the shoulder. “I’ve sat through many a one of these where my kid didn’t get an award either,” she said to us. I tried to insert, “I really don’t think I care if mine got an award” but couldn’t because she quickly proceeded to say how life has been okay for her award-less kid. But even as she was speaking, I had a hard time hearing. The truth is – I had been fine until she said something. Now, my thoughts were now racing. Should I care that mine didn’t award? Is it that obvious? If this lady noticed no-award, is everyone else looking?!

My word. The answer is NO. It’s all good. Award/no award – there’s more to life, everyone’s life!

Next – I could do nothing but laugh.

About the time I’m walking into the house with Snopes from one such award ceremony, a friend from San Antonion texted me this … a Glimpse pic:


an end cap? Get out! THANK you B&N!!

But this is what’s actually going on at my house:

real life

make-shift water damage control

A different sort of snapshot. Point of the story – there’s more to the story than the Glimpse. And usually it’s the stuff behind the glimpse that actually matters.

Snopes and I cracked up when we walked in the house to this sight. It was Jon’s effort to stave off any secondary issues with a small water leak that occurred this morning when a kid took a shower without pulling the curtain completely closed. Nothing like going upstairs to investigate a strange “dripping sound” only to discover a very happy leisure-shower-taker peeking out from around the door, wondering aloud “how could that have happened?” The kid and I stared at a ginormouse puddle making its way across the bedroom and through the floor before quickly moving from wonder to damage control.

The bad? A fairly major water issue had found its way downstairs to the point of dripping through the kitchen light fixture. The good: We have some great kids who are so far from perfect, but eager to help clean up life’s minor calamities. The good: I have an industrious/conscientious/creative(?) husband who is going to go the extra mile to make sure everything is spit-spot dry. (At the top of his counter stool/Charmin/Bounty tower is a heater capped off by a heater and a garbage sack with a hole directed at the wet fixture’s opening.) The good: laughter – because, whether in the form of an award (endcap) or a water leak, a glimpse never defines the whole.

There’s always more to the story. You never know how badly that winner-kid needed multiple awards. You never know what one can learn from not winning. And – we don’t have to look very far to find someone in need of an encouraging word because award/no-award doesn’t define anyone. THE best is fickle and elusive – never enough because the instant it’s seen/achieved, it moves or begs for more. THEIR/OUR best is where it’s at … nothing more/nothing less … really.

What a great reminder as I sit and will continue to sit through award ceremonies – and as I’m faced social media highlight-reel pics prolific this time of year- that focusing on a bigger picture than the moment actually makes celebrating others much easier and genuine.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


For your viewing pleasure a couple clips from The Middle’s Mother’s Day espisode: Clip 1 just says it all – our expectations in relation to perceived reality can seem so off. And make us feel less than ourselves. This clip is about Mother’s Day. But it could be anything.

And I love that the preceding was followed by the rest of the story.

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