What in the world am I writing about? It’s a question I’ve asked myself while trying to decide what direction this column should go in. It’s a question you may ask yourself sometimes when reading this column. I want to be clear: I’m not a fitness guru or parenting expert. I’m a 31-year-old husband and parent of two young children who works a full-time job and also happens to be the Vice Mayor of the City of Danville. That can be an interesting combination of ingredients.
We live in an age where it seems everyone is expected to be perfect. Social media has done this to us. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. It can be a great tool. I use it extensively. The problem, however, is that it causes people to believe they have to project this perfect image of themselves, or else face the consequences of an unforgiving audience. Every hair out of place is analyzed. Every word misspelled is ridiculed. Is Kim Kardashian’s life as perfect as her Instagram account makes it seem? Of course, it’s not, and you shouldn’t expect yours to be either.
I share pictures and videos regularly on my social media channels, many of them featuring my children, Kingston and Ava. Rarely a day passes without someone mentioning to me how much they love seeing pictures of Kingston, what a sweet boy he is and how lucky I am to have such a well-behaved son. All of those things are true, but what they don’t see is that five minutes after that sweet, smiling photo was taken, Kingston is probably storming through the house making a mess of biblical proportions.
Those of you who follow me on social media have probably seen a lot of photos of me with the kids on some adventure, as Kingston calls them, at a nearby walking trail or park. It’s something we like to do on days when my wife, Blair, is working and I’m off work. It’s fun for the kids, and me, and keeps them active until mommy gets home. Often times, we’ll be able to snap that perfect family photo of us out in the wild, smiling with hardly a hair out of place. It’s a perfect day, right? Of course not. Like every parent with young children knows, the time in between the photos is filled with small temper tantrums and trying to figure out how such a small baby can have that much poop!
My point is this: life isn’t perfect. It never will be. The sooner we realize that, and learn to embrace our imperfections, the happier we will be. Life can’t be captured in a single photo, as great as they can be. Life is what happens in between the photos.