“[That thing you made] was amazing.”
My boss was referring to a printed media piece I’d made for a work event. I thanked him, but tried to downplay the compliment. And the reality is, the item wasn’t in itself anything close to deserving such a qualifier. When you factored in the very little time I had to produce it in the quantity needed? OK, maybe still not amazing, but moderately impressive.
No, when I think of amazing things, I tend to relate to the victories of parenthood, as often one does when one is a parent. Like when I was standing in my daughter’s third grade classroom during Open House and while signing up for parent/teacher conferences, I had the foresight to schedule her conference adjacent to her brother’s. Actually, I’d say those moments cause me to reflect and relish my sheer scheduling genius and make me think, huh, there are some brain cells still kicking around after all.
Or amazing might be that eight years and three kids later, we’re all still here, all digits intact, and we all still like each other most of the time. Or that we can somehow get everyone dressed and out the door most mornings, or that the cacophony of iPad sounds that comes from the backseat of my morning commute hasn’t driven me completely insane yet.
Or that my little boy is starting school in less than a week. Kindergarten. The big kids’ school.
I know, it’s so cliché to say how fast time flies, but it’s not even that. It’s more like every day has been mashed together, only a few distinguishable from the rest. One day you’re searching for real shoes for the kid, because he’s starting to walk on his own. And then suddenly you remember oh shit, he needs an extra pair of shoes for gym class. And then you pat yourself on the back for remembering this before you’re walking him in on the first day of school. (Another amazing parenting victory, right there.)
So many words that should carry so much more impact (“It’s so awesome!!”) have lost so much with overuse. Amazing is probably one of them. So many things we label as amazing are really just plain, ordinary things. The idea of language being fluid and changing has been a tough pill for me to swallow, as I’ve always been one to enjoy finding examples of bad grammar, and I cringe when words are accepted into our lexicon when every fiber of my being wants to scream out that it’s wrong. (Please don’t tell me about the time you literally died.)
But I’m changing, because that is what we do as humans. We adapt. And as parents, it’s a given: it usually doesn’t go the way you planned, but that’s not always a bad thing. And it might seem like it goes by in the blink of an eye, but at times, it really is an amazing ride. Literally.