Last night, the ambitious mother in me asked my wife, “Hey, let’s go attend the school play with the kids, it starts at 7pm, it should only be for an hour.”
We get to the bus stop and drive for an hour in Seoul traffic, with the twins high off life, squiggling, arguing, and dropping things every five minutes. My wife and I look at each other exhausted, but happy because the girls are happy.
We get to the play and the twins run for the popcorn machine, show is starting in 2 minutes, we rush to get the popcorn and find our four empty seats in the front row. We take them.
10 minutes in, one daughter needs to use the restroom. 20 minutes in, popcorn ran out and Madi is taking Elise’s popcorn. They start quarreling and shoving each other. I’m trying to balance a few drinks and tell them subtley “Stop fighting, we’re at a show girls.” Halfway through, my wife needs to head back to the office.
Then an eternity of time passes, and what I thought was the end of the play, was only the intermission. We had 20 minutes of “break” time, until the second half. We head out of the auditorium, I see a few folks, and try to socialize in between the madness with a smile on my face. I get this hot wine drink, to show my support to the Parent’s Association. Elise jumps up (for no reason) and knocks my wine on herself and starts yelling. I’m like, ok, “Mommy, needs to go home.” I see other mothers and fathers with the same look on their faces.
We head back in and of all things I give the kids that day, little wallets to buy a book at the Book Fair...they are now playing with coins on the little pull-out tables, during the singing solos of the main characters. Both girls are still happy, but getting to their breaking point, especially with them falling out of their theater type chairs every few minutes. Its 10pm, and the show finally ended. We jet out of the theater to get seats on the bus back home. Girls passed out. Mission accomplished.
When I read what I just wrote, it’s pretty funny. In the moment, not so much...but this is parenthood right? We try to do what is right, we set the intention (I wanted the kids to have a good time with their moms). We participate in our own decisions (getting popcorn, disciplining in the middle of a show, bathroom breaks, and mini quarrels in between). We reflect and ask ourselves, would we do it again (Yes, because it is not about me, but about my kids).
Being a mom is probably the hardest job in the world, I’m responsible for guiding, teaching, and supporting my kids. I’m responsible for investing my time and energy in their growth. On days like this, I feel overwhelmed. But, at the same time, I feel so blessed to have rambunctious and lively twin daughters. They teach me so much about just being present, being okay with the chaos, and just living. We can set so many goals in life, want so many things, but the real gifts are the moments we spend in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves. This little show may not seem like a “big thing,” but the thing I’m in pursuit of as a parent is creating a happy childhood for my kids. I think I’m on the right path.
How do you find your purpose?
How do you choose the right career?
How do you choose the right relationship?
How do you choose anything in life?
You've come to the right place. My name is Dom and I've wrestled with these same questions time and time again. And I learned that I must first study myself, before I look outside of myself for the answers.
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