I sat across from you today. You are struggling, you are tired.
As looked into her eyes I recognized the exhaustion and the fear. I recognized the question, the one that asks am I going to be okay? I remembered a dark season in my life. I remembered when I was so undone with anxiety that I couldn’t take the kids to the beach or even make it out of the house.
I remembered when I had no hope.
I remembered a friend who showed up every single day on my doorstep. She’d ask, “What are you afraid of today?” I’d tell her and she’d listen. She’d really listen…that was the gift. When I’d run all out of words I would sit shaking on my porch trying to feel the sun that beat down all around me, but never touched my skin.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?
I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.
Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.
Everyday I make mistakes.
I sat down and mapped out a life plan, and so far it looks like I will be late for approximately 15 more years.
I’m so excited about my newest post for Motherly, because, FOR REALZZZ.
Mornings before kids:
1. Get self ready.
2. Get self in car.
1. Wake up children.
2. Go to the kitchen to start breakfast.
3. Hear no noise from children.
4. Holler at children every 30 seconds.
5. All appear, except one. Your future seems bright, you keep hollering.
6. You hear last child thrashing and grunting violently. This is the worst moment of his life.
7. Child finally emerges. It is unclear if he is human or zombie.
8. Child sits on couch.
9. Child becomes one with the couch.
10. You call frantically to them while making eggs: “Shoes!” “Hair!” “Clothes!”
11. Child stares into space.
Read more at Motherly…
Yesterday at Target I stood in line behind a Mom with two screaming kids. One clung to her leg while the other, a brand new baby, wailed from her arms.
I am not used to being the one who is not the parent of the screaming child. This was uncharted territory.
This weekend I got to experience magic. One of my best friends invited me and a few others to be there for the birth of her first baby. I’ve never seen birth – except my own.
It was magic. Birth is magic. It is terrible, it is messy, and it is brilliant. After 24 hours of hard labor and zero results, my friend had gotten a epidural. She cracked jokes as she nibbled graham crackers between pushing contractions. What a bad ass. She was so strong and so powerful…I have never seen her so beautiful. Her husband stroked her head and held her hand as she used all her strength to bring new life into the world.
When we first got married I was so excited to do EVERYTHING together. I couldn’t wait. I worked at a coffee shop and I told a friend of mine that I was even going to start working with Graham (as a self-employed window washer). “This is a terrible idea.” he said.
I’m not sure if it was my inability to clean things, or the fact that I wanted to spend 24 hours a day with only one person that tipped him off.
Maybe you’re sitting on a stool in your kitchen right now, surveying the damage from breakfast. You look in bewilderment at what appears to be the remnants of a crumb monsoon. You stare at your cup of coffee, looking for the answers to life’s questions. About that time, your kids run past you. They tear around the living room leaving a wake of toys, books, and unidentified underwear. They are screaming in decibels your mind cannot compute.
“MOM!!!” they shout in pure glee, “Can we have a SNACK???”
Now before I start this, let me just tell you, I’ve been running for 3 months. I am similar to that lady who ranted on Facebook about how parenting isn’t an excuse to not shower and have crumbs under the couch– and she has exactly one 2-week-old infant. We’ve all been collectively giggling while we sip our wine, and fist bumping thinking of toddlers running through Cheerrios on her freshly vacuumed carpet. I was thinking of emailing her to see if she could come shave my legs for me.
To My Kids,
Some people will say that the world is a scary, scary place. Some people will say that there’s no hope and that the future is dark and bleak.
My dear ones, don’t pay attention. There are things that are awful, and terrible, and sad, but there is also always HOPE and there is always GOOD. You have the tools already printed in your heart. You have love, mercy, compassion, generosity, and kindness. You have ambition and courage, and a radical sense of justice…and that is exactly what is needed.
You are not helpless to bring goodness and light to the world; you are well equipped.
Fear will tell you that it isn’t enough, and that there is nothing that can be done. It will say that you are helpless and a victim to fate. It isn’t true, my loves. The world is your canvas. Make your mark on it with creativity, compassion, and purpose…and I promise that you (and it) will never be the same.
The world is still very, very beautiful because it is full of people, people who have greatness inside of them. We must always be believers in people.
So far we have had exactly 49 days of summer vacation together. I’d like to make you all aware of some new positions that will be opening up, due to my resignation. Those are: Toilet-Flusher, Sock-Finder, Snack-Maker and someone to explain (every.single.night.) why the sun is still up at bedtime. Please submit your applications accordingly.
Also, from now on, when I hear bickering I will hide under my bed and listen to Taylor Swift until it is over.