We weren’t meant to live life isolated, alone, and without community. I don’t care who you are, what you do, or what your personality is; you were made for connection and belonging.
“We are hardwired to connect with others; it’s what gives meaning and purpose to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”
– Brene Brown
I love a simple summer.
Don’t get me wrong, I also LOVE trips. I love adventure and the excitement of planning something epic makes me giddy. (I also admit that sometimes the planning is more fun than the actual doing #momlife), but still. This year we are getting to visit family for the first time in a couple years, but other than that we are going to spend our days within a mile or two of our house and I’m pretty excited. Sometimes, I think *simple* is actually my favorite.
In order to make friends:
You don’t need to have clean closets.
You don’t need to eat all organic.
You don’t need to lose 10 pounds or any amount of weight at all.
You don’t need to be an expert at parenting.
You don’t need to have life figured out.
Friendship is the most important form of self care you can invest in.
More than a shopping trip.
More than having someone come clean your house once a week.
More than a massage.
Tonight, I cried. I cried because you’re getting so old so quickly. I cried because I’m not always good at being present and I’m afraid these magical moments are passing me by without me noticing. I hate that I miss it sometimes. I hate that I spend so many hours a day worrying and stressing and rushing. I hate that there are real (and imagined) things on my plate that demand so much of me. I hate that sometimes all I have are leftovers for you.
On a night twelve years ago today, you became, and I became too. All of my births were magic (after they were hell and fire), but your birth was the one where I was born. We were both born and then there we sat, mother and son. My whole world stopped spinning; everything came into focus; and a part of me woke up that had never been awake before.
I will never be the same.
Ever since I can remember I wished I had sisters. I have one brother and I adored (adore) him. He is four years younger than me, so he was my dolly for a long time before he was my peer. I love having a brother, but I still longed for sisterhood.
As an adult, my friends have become my sisters and they are exactly what I needed all my life.
To my friend’s kids:
I hope you know how much I love you. You’re not mine, but I love you like you are. You’re not my niece or nephew by blood, but you are by choice…and that pretty much means you’re stuck with me forever. You are my chosen sister’s baby and that means you own a piece of my heart and you always will.
There are so many books (and schools of thought) on being a parent. Do this, don’t do that, I know you thought that was good (but TURNS OUT IT’S NOT, SO STOP RIGHT NOW.) No timeouts, no saying “no”, and discipline more (but not too much). You must be calm at all times, so you should snort a tablespoon of lavender and stuff your bra with coconut oil and kale. Channel your inner zen, so that even when your kid is screaming like you are a stranger trying to abduct them (but actually they’re just mad you won’t buy a Elsa flashlight), you can smile and say, “wow, I can see you are really upset about this”. Instead of, you know, throwing them in a football hold while they pinch your arms with their razor nails and beeline it for the car, where you wrestle them into their carseat until sweat drains down your saggy boob crevice (formally known as cleavage). You can then listen with empathy as they scream at you (not slam the door while they rage and cry and avoid eye contact with Merle and Eddie who are holding hands and walking into the store like a Norman Rockwell painting) .
When I was in high school, I used to stress every time they asked the question; what are you going to go study in college? I’d heard the same question my whole life; What are you going to be when you grow up?
It had been a long list of maybes since I was little. I wanted to be a garbage truck driver, a singer, an animal rescuer, Tara Lipinski, a zoologist, a counselor, an artist, or a nurse. I wanted to be a writer or own a coffee shop. I wanted to be a rockstar or a comedian or a traveling doctor. Deep down, I really believed the sky was the limit. I could be an astronaut if I wanted, but Apollo 13 made me feel like I probably didn’t. I thought it would be cool to be the first woman president, but I didn’t care much for politics.