About once a week I like to hop over to typepad.com and read Soule Mama, a blog by a mom who knits, sews, and home-schools her four children with grace and ease (or at least that is how it seems). Usually I feel peaceful, calm and inspired by her photos or posts. But last week I found myself weeping as I viewed her tribute to her youngest child on her first birthday. The photos of the gifts from the siblings, made with such love and care and beauty, made me so sad. I had long envied Soule Mama, but now the startling evidence of her seemingly superior lifestyle was right there in front of me.
Suddenly my life felt hectic, ugly, and completely at odds with my values. While my kids were stuck inside watching TV, hers had been out gathering wood to make blocks and knitting balls for the baby to play with. I can't even imagine the horror on my kids' faces if they got these gifts this month. My daughter dreams of a Playmobil box with hundreds of shiny plastic parts under the Christmas tree. Both kids fall asleep to the sound of traffic on the busy road just beyond our door. That morning I read her post, Soule Mama made me seriously doubt my earlier contention that life in the city is better in the long run than what I had growing up.
Although a blog empowers us by letting us share the real details of our lives, it may also be the great humbler. Reading blogs, I am now regularly reminded how unoriginal my ideas are and how different my life is from the many I have imagined for myself. That is not to say I am disappointed with my life, (my husband and children are amazing and wow me with their special gifts every day) I am only disappointed with my inability to be all I can imagine.