Warrick fell in a heap at the foot of the door. His tears flowed and he grimaced.
“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?” I asked him, kneeling beside him.
“I’m missing all the fun,” he responded between deep breaths.
It was a Thursday afternoon, and my husband was washing his truck. My son, Warrick, was watching cartoons when my husband invited him outside with him to help with one of his favorite chores. Warrick was exhausted from his school day and did not hear the invite. A few minutes later my husband and our toddler, Xavier, were outside frolicking in the water and washing his truck. It was at this moment that Warrick saw the fun outside that he was missing.
I put my hand on his little shoulder and comforted him. “Baby, just open the door. You can go out there. Open the door.”
He inhaled deeply, stood up, and opened the door. The fun was just a door and a couple steps away.
The moment this little incident happened, a light bulb flashed in my mind. Isn’t this exactly what I’ve done many times in my life? Isn’t this the attitude I’ve had when I’ve observed something fun or interesting happening that I perceived was out of my reach? Was it as simple as me opening a door in my life? Or taking a couple steps toward something new?
I know as mothers we can get into a rhythm, a pattern, or even a rut with our busy-ness and attention to our families and careers. Often it may seem, especially through social media, that we are missing out. We have the fear of missing out or FOMO as this concept has been dubbed. We peer out that metaphorical door and see all the fun being had by women wealthier than us, more successful than us, more sophisticated than us, and we fall into a little heap and pout. Here we are spending our time and money on our kids, our husbands, our businesses; and we feel like we are missing out on everything else. We feel like all of it is happening without us.
But, friends, I am here to share with you that you can, we can, make a door, open a door, and step outside into our own fun. The best doors are the ones that involve others and are motivated by sharing and compassion.
Last year I had been feeling like I was missing out on good girl time, a community of women I could talk and laugh with. I felt like I was alone and no one wanted to hang out with me. Why wasn’t this perfect group of like-minded women calling me to hang out? Major pity party. After meeting with a friend and talking about our common interest in writing and faith, I had a light bulb moment. Instead of waiting for this perfect community to come along, why not create it? Why not invite some friends together to support each other in creating art and telling stories? I decided to open a door and have some fun. I spoke with my friend, and she felt the same way. We invited a few people, and just the right women showed up. We started an awesome journey together that provided laughter and encouragement for all of us, not just me. My desire for fellowship opened a door in which other women received love and friendship and support. This very blog itself was an “open the door” moment for me. I had been saying I wanted to write for years, but I often thought it wouldn’t happen. My friend invited me to apply to be a contributor, and at first, I thought, “I don’t have anything to say about motherhood,” and considered I wasn’t right for it. But I wrote a couple pieces, submitted them, and opened the door. Now, I’m having all the writing fun.
We are told so often to wait patiently for doors to open, that the right door will open, and other idioms involving the opening and closing of doors. I want to challenge that sometimes maybe we need to open a few ourselves. Instead of having FOMO, let’s open some doors, take some steps, and join the fun. In that moment with Warrick at the door, those simple three words eradicated his tantrum and empowered him to step outside. I want to do the same for you. Open the door!