As Magoo Turns Seven

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There’s this little girl upstairs sleeping.  Well, actually she’s not sleeping.  She’s scouring the ceiling for bugs and reading books she has smuggled into her bed.

But still, there is this little girl upstairs.

I first met her almost seven years ago.  She was small – 7 lbs 14 oz.  And she was perfect.  In fact, she was so perfect that I spent months waiting for something to happen.  Because surely someone this perfect could not have come from me.

But she did.

We spent three years pretty much alone, she and I.  Of course at nights and on weekends, we had TJ home.  But all day every day, it was just she and I.  My little buddy.  My little Magoo.

We were in the car the other day driving home from the bookstore, and I started telling her about those days.  The days before our family became full.  To be honest, I think she’s kind of sick of hearing all those stories.

I look at her now, and it’s hard to believe that she is the same little baby from all those years back.

Because now she is a kid.  I called her a little girl, but she barely qualifies anymore.  Truth be told, she’s a kid.  Not a little kid, not a small kid, not an almost big kid.

I used to always fear the new years.  I would hold her little pudgy toddler hand, and I would pray that the moments would last forever.  I would lie on the floor reading her Oh the Places You’ll Go before she could even make out the pictures, and I would think that no other moment could be more special.  I knew school days and uniforms and soccer practice and dance classes were coming.  But I wanted to push them off.  I wanted to stay in our little bubble as long as possible.

Well, the bubble has burst, and with it, she has burst out into the world.  She has friends and she’s in activities.  Her world is so much bigger than it was all those years ago.

And the funny thing is that even though I miss those toddler hugs, I couldn’t be more happy with where we are now.

Now in the places of tottering steps and food mashed all over her face, I have a wonderful little lady who can walk confidently into a room.  Who knows what she wants.  Who isn’t afraid to say what she believes.  Who has confidence and compassion and empathy and intelligence and creativity and joy.

Every night, I take each of the girls up to my room one on one, and I read to them.  We are almost done with Charlotte’s Web.  It is in these moments more than any other that I realize just the gift I have in all three of them.

Magoo is not one to cuddle all that much, but she’ll scooch up next to me, and nestle in the crook of my arm.  She will ask me to read to her while she just listens, and I oblige because I want her to feel safe and secure and comfortable and at peace.

After we are done reading, we’ll talk about it for a bit.  And we’ll plan books to read.  Our list is a mile long.

And that is absolutely find with me.

Because I realize that the bigger her world gets, the more I will have to work to stay a part of it.  The more she experiences, the more she’ll need someone to filter it all through.  The more new people and new joys she encounters, the more she’ll need to be grounded in the old and the familiar.

Mom isn’t exciting.  Mom isn’t new friends and new toys and new sights and sounds.

Mom is the old and the comfortable.  Perhaps battered and beaten a bit like a favorite teddy bear, but loved all the more because of it.

And as always, I am so honored and blessed to be that person for my Magoo.

And so, as you turn seven Magoo, I wish you joy and happiness and peace and comfort and faith and love and adventure.  The world is at your fingertips.  With each new day, you experience more and more of it.  I am so happy to be your cheerleader and your companion and your guidepost and your way home.

I love you Schiminity.  Always and forever, from here to the moon and back, as big as the whole world.

Seven years ago, you made me a mom.  Being a mom to you and your sisters is the highlight of my life.

Above all, I say thank you.

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They Made Me Mom

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Seven years ago on Memorial Day weekend, TJ and I spent dozens upon dozens of hours walking the streets, trying to induce labor.  All we wanted was to meet the little girl who would make us parents.  We had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we knew we wanted to get wherever we were going soon.

She didn’t come that weekend – she came two days later – but those moments we spent walking will be forever etched in my memory.

What bigger event is there than becoming a mom for the first time?  Before every birth there is the excitement and the anticipation and the joy.  But at the birth of your first, you’re not just birthing a baby; you’re birthing a mother and a father too.

There was something about standing on that precipice that etched itself into the forever parts of my brain.  We were on the edge, peeking over, but we had no idea that the fall into parenthood would be the defining falls of our lives.

And now I stand on the other side of the precipice after already having met Magoo as well as Goosie and Mae, and most days I am in just as much awe as that first.

I look at these three little people, and some days they take my breath away.  They are so filled with joy and innocence and love and creativity and intelligence and ingenuity and passion.  Oh the passion!

I often wish that for even just one moment they could feel the love they inspire in me.  Because there’s nothing greater.

It’s so important to be loved.  But it’s even more important to love.  And these three give me so much opportunity to love.

I have so very much to be thankful for in this life, but there’s nothing greater than the souls that slumber in this house every evening after we have shut the light off and shut out the world.

Out of all of the gifts that my children give to me, perhaps the greatest is the opportunity to have my chest swell up with so much love it feels like it might overtake me.

“It was the pleasure of my life, and I cherish overtime; my whole world, it begins and ends with you.”

Sweet dreams my children.

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About Death and Love and Eternity

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We pray for my grandparents every morning.  Both Magoo and I do.  If I forget them in our morning intentions, she’s always right behind me asking God to keep them under His wing, close to His heart.  Well, those aren’t exactly her words, but you get what I mean.

I’ve been thinking about my grandparents a lot lately.  I don’t know if it’s because May is the anniversary of my grandma’s death or if it’s because I’m reading a book about a woman who lost someone close to her, or if it’s for some other reason unknown to me.

But I have been thinking about them.

Often.

I remember when I was younger fearing death.  I was always sure that once I lost someone close to me, I would never experience true happiness again.  I thought someone would always be missing.

I thought I would panic.  Which is not atypical for me of course.  But I thought I would panic at the thought of laying my eyes on their body for the last time and never seeing them alive again in this life.

It took me a long time to lose someone close to me.  My grandparents didn’t die until I was in my thirties.

And I remember once having to write a paper about who I would want to visit if I could visit anyone who ever lived.  Even when my grandparents were alive, I said I would want to meet my grandma when she was my age.

I’ve known my parents since they were fairly young, but my grandparents were in their sixties when I was born.  I never knew them with color in their hair and smooth skin.  I never knew them as young parents with children running around.  I never knew them when they had more of their life ahead of them than behind.

I’ve seen pictures.  I would like to jump into those pictures if only for an hour.

If I could, I would ask her what it was like to raise children in a world that is so different from mine.

I would ask her what it was like to live in small, homogenous communities where gender roles and social roles were so solidly established.

I would ask her what she did when five children in one house seemed like a whole lot of life to manage.

I would ask her what she thought about and dreamed about.  What made her heart sing, what made her sad.

And I would ask her what she would do if she ever felt down or anxious.  Because I know she did.  Just as I do.

I find myself sometimes getting sad even though it’s many years later.  I actually found myself reaching for my telephone to call her about a month ago.  It has been years since I have been able to do that.  I felt a bit silly.

I want to share my children with her.  I want to share my stories with her.  I want to tell her that I’m a writer now – just like she always said I could be.

But just as I get sad, I realize that while there was a big loss, it wasn’t quite as big as I would have imagined.  It’s not quite as big because not everything was lost.

I see my Goosie acting out her shenanigans (a word my Grandpa would have liked,) and I can see her smiling and calling her a little imp.  I can see Magoo sharing her stories with her and Grandma getting so proud.  I can see the look she would give Mae when Mae is throwing a little tantrum, and I can see the smile coming to Grandma’s eyes as she said she remembers those days well.

What I didn’t know all those years ago when I was fearing death was that death isn’t quite the separation I thought it was because death ends a life but it doesn’t end the bonds, and it doesn’t end the love.  Those things are eternal, and they are alive every bit as much now as they were then.

I share my stories of my grandparents with my girls just as Grandma shared stories about her father throughout my whole childhood.

I’ve heard people say, I don’t have any grandparents anymore; they have all died.  And I want to tell them that they are wrong.  They always will have grandparents.  That relationship doesn’t end just because of death.  It remains and it will continue to remain until we are reunited again on the other side.

But of course I don’t say that because everyone has their way of viewing life and death, and  who am I to say how another should feel about their deceased loved ones.

Except this is my space, and here I can say it.

Love doesn’t die.  Bonds aren’t severed.  Life goes on, on both sides of the veil.

Love is hard and tricky and messy and complicated.

But it’s also eternal.

I used to go through weird phases as a kid.  At one point, I had a bookmark collection, and I remember suddenly feeling silly about it.  After all, I thought, what is the point of collecting anything when we can’t bring it with us?

And it stands true.  We can’t bring physical things with us.  All we can bring is ourselves and our love.

And so I sit here tonight, a bit sad missing my grandparents but also full of hope thinking that perhaps they are reading these ideas somewhere beyond my sight and beyond my knowledge and beyond my understanding.

Maybe they already know my girls.  Maybe they see all they do.  Maybe they are loving them from a distance.

And maybe there is no maybe about it.

I believe they are and they do and they will continue to until one day I am sitting beside them again, breathing in their love, comforted by their joy.

Until that day as always I pray that God holds them tightly in the palm of his hand.

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This Crazy, Beautiful Life

Life is pretty crazy around here.

Tonight it has been really crazy.  My eldest has a stomach ache, my youngest is on a rage filled tirade, and my Goosie who gets caught up in such chaos easily has been a little force to reckon with.

They are upstairs with TJ right now.  He’s putting them to bed.  Because he’s awesome.  Because he went to work all day, and then he offered to make dinner after my crock pot meal didn’t finish in time, and then he put the kids to bed.  Like he always does.

Because I am very lucky.

And I hear my Goosie upstairs right now.  She’s quite upset about something.  She’s sobbing.  I hear her asking T if she can come downstairs and give me a hug.  “I need Mama,” she’s sobbing.

Because I am very lucky.  Because I get to be that Mama.

This life is ridiculous.  Every morning I wake up and I don’t stop.  I can’t eat a bite of food; I can’t read a paragraph; I can’t get anything done at all because at all times, at every single moment, I am needed.

And that’s crazy, and it’s crazy making.  It takes so much to give so much, and to be honest, I don’t feel like I have that much to give to begin with.

And sometimes I come here and I try to write nice little tidy messages about this life.  I try to sum it up and make sense of it.  I try to make it neat and meaningful and succinct.

But life isn’t like that.  Life is about having way too much to do.  It’s about giving away more than you knew you had.  It’s about having a heart that is so full and so vibrant and so heavy and so worn and so alive that it barely fits in your chest.

It’s about crying sometimes.  It’s about crying those bitter sobs of disappointment, and it’s about crying the frustrated tears of chaos, and it’s about crying the sweet tears of joy, and it’s about crying the empty tears that come for no other reason than your eyes need something to do at that moment.

It’s about trying to make sense out of it all, about trying to find our place, carve out our niche, make our impact, but getting so caught up in everything that it’s hard to even remember that there is a place to carve out after all.

It’s about trying to find meaning while living.  It’s about trying to learn to swim in the deep end.  It’s about falling under, having someone pull you back up, and then doing it all over again.

Life is beautiful and it’s complicated, and it’s aggravating, and it’s glorious.

But most of all, it’s holy.

It’s about taking the gifts of our one precious life and doing our best to do it justice.

Life isn’t about pretty little essays.  It’s not about one liners that make sense of it all.

It’s about all the mess and all the chaos and all the holiness all rolled into one.

It’s beautiful.  And it’s broken.

And it surely can’t be one without the other.

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A Mother’s Day Wish

It’s weird how Mother’s Day changes over the years.

When we’re kids, it’s the day we get to give Mom all the presents Dad bought.  Then we start to buy our own as we celebrate a day that is a holiday just because.

I remember at one point when I was a kid thinking that it was unfair that mothers and fathers get a day but kids didn’t.  After all, mom is mom.  It’s just who she is.

Now I’m an adult, and I understand a bit more.  I understand that mom isn’t just a title; it’s a choice.

It’s a choice every day to put someone else’s needs first.

It’s a choice to open your heart so wide that it could crush you should it break.

It’s a choice to put your comforts and pleasures aside in order to advance someone else’s.

And it’s a choice to be the rock in someone else’s little world.

Growing up, I always thought that mom was just a given.  I lived in a little world, and that world was simple.  Moms and Dads were there.  They always protected.  They always respected.  They were our greatest gifts from God.

But tonight as I sit here watching my girls glowing from the time they spent with their grandparents this weekend, I am reminded that moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas are a gift from God, but they also are a gift of themselves from themselves.

They spent their lives loving me, and now they are spending their lives loving me and my kids.  Just as they were always my rock as I was a child, now they are there for my children as well.  No one loves a child like a parent.  And that includes grandparents.  Because they love in their own special, remarkable way.

So to my mom, I would like to say thank you.  Not so much for being a mother.  God made you that.  But more so for being Mom.  For taking that responsibility and for honoring it and in doing so, teaching me how to do the same for my girls.  For saying yes to the challenges and the struggles.  For carrying on when you got tired.  For finding joy through the whole process.  And for letting your love be the rock in my life for all of those years.

Being a mom is a choice.  If we forget that, we forget the very real decision our mothers have made to help mold us into the people that we are.

There’s no magic about it.  There’s no mystery.  It’s just women choosing to let their love guide their lives to make a world whole for their beloved.  Women choosing sacrifice over comfort.  And in doing so, making the world a better place for all the lives they touch.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  The girls look adorable in their pajamas :-)

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Goosie at 4

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Goosie,

I am looking over at you.  You are sitting on the couch with your sisters watching Star Wars while sniffing your white blanky and wearing the birthday crown you got at preschool.

To me, that sight is precisely what 4 is.

4 is you wanting to cuddle up next to me at nap time and get as cosy as possible under the covers.

4 is you getting so excited at times that the words all get mashed together while your brain and your mouth try to get on the same page.

4 is the little girl who fell asleep on my lap at mass last week and laid in my arms like a little baby for over half an hour.

4 is all the best sights and sounds and loves of the last 4 years.  4 is the baby you once were and the toddler you are growing out of.

But 4 is also the thirty minute long conversation we had this morning where you were trying to figure out what was alive so you could figure out what was growing just like you.

4 is the chapter books that you insist on looking through even though you can’t read them and there aren’t a whole lot of pictures.

4 is the conversations that we can now have as your mind grows ever and ever more complex as you learn to maneuver through this world.

After all, 4 is all you are becoming.  All the promise you hold.  All the mountains you will climb and hearts you will hold.  4 is the young lady you are becoming.

And Goosie at 4…

Goosie at 4 is the little girl who has insisted on calling herself, “The Birthday Girl” all day.

Goosie at 4 is you crawling into my bed this morning and almost trembling with excitement when I reminded you that it is your birthday.

Goosie at 4 is the little girl who comes running at me full speed after school to jump into my arms.

And Goosie at 4 is my little princess who believes the person who wears the most clothes is the fanciest.

In other words, Goosie at 4 is pure Goose.  My creative, original, passionate, caring, insightful, and empathetic little force of nature.

Four years ago, I met you for the first time.  I looked into your eyes and I saw fire.  Today, I know you well.  I know your heart as well as mine.  And when I look into your eyes I still see fire.

I have to admit that I have been a bit sad all day today.  Four seems so old.  It’s the precursor to big kid things.

But then I remember that with each passing year, you become more and more who you are and who you are destined to be.

I don’t know what roads this life has for you.  I don’t know what challenges and joys await you.  But I do know that I cannot wait to see how you tackle them with the style and sass only my Goosie can muster.

The last four years have been a whirlwind, and quite often you were at the center of it.  Being your mom is one of the greatest honors of my life.

You love big just like you live big, and I count myself among the luckiest people in the world to get to be on the receiving end of that love.

So here’s to new adventures and journeys and all that this year will have in store for us.

I love you my Goosie.  To the moon and back, forever and a day, big as the whole wide world.

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My Favorite Time of the Day

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailEvenings are pretty ridiculous around here.  Everyone kind of goes crazy as I have a lot of work to get done.  It’s not uncommon to have two kids screaming at my legs for a snack as I’m trying to get dinner done so we can run and pick my husband up from the train before we come home and have our family dinner.

And family meals…

I remember all those commercials from years back about how important family meals are and how much families can bond over dinner.  For us, it is not like that.  For us, it’s a massive test in patience as we try to coax two toddlers into eating healthy food while our seven year old laments about how unfair it is that she can’t eat dairy anymore.

But eventually dinner is over and the plates get cleared from the table (thanks to my husband) and I retire into my bedroom to read with each girl individually.

I like this time. I like the quiet.  I like the stories.  I like the cuddling.

But as much as I like it, I actually think they like it more.

Each girl will come in and take a few moments to get super “comfy.”  They will both position themselves on my arm just so and pull the blankets up to their head.  Goosie giggles as she does this because there is nothing she likes more than a good cuddle, and she knows that this time is just for her.

I let the girls pick out their stories.  Goosie is three, so she will pick out a couple of picture books.  Magoo is six and likes chapter books, so we carefully select one to read for the next week or two.  Right now we are on Charlotte’s Web.

And then we get lost in the books.

Sometimes I do voices, but sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I ask questions, and sometimes we just read.  Sometimes Magoo and I take turns reading, but lately I have been reading pretty much exclusively.  I figure that after a long day of learning, it’s probably much more relaxing for her if I do the reading and she can just lay back and enjoy it.

And that’s it.  It’s not a complicated routine.  It’s not a hassle at the end of the day.  It’s not an item on the to do list.

It’s just a gift I like to give to my kids.

I look at them all snuggled up, and I imagine what it must feel like to them – the touch and the sounds and the smells and the sights.

It’s a big world out there.  It feels big to me — I can’t imagine what it must feel like to a little person.  There is so much for them to learn and to experience.  There’s stuff for them to fear and for them to embrace, and often, they don’t know which is which.

This world is theirs for the taking.

But sometimes I think it’s nice to take a step back from the world.  To lock it all out.  To lock us in.  And just be with each other.

We do that in many ways.  But no way seems to mean more to any of us than our nightly reading ritual.

Part of me is afraid this will end too soon.  I worry that time will move too quickly and we will get inundated with too many tasks, and slowly, our reading will become a thing of the past.  I’ve read about the benefits of reading to children all the way through junior high and beyond.  This isn’t something I want to end.

And so I worry.

But then I think about us, and I realize that if I keep my ears open to them, I don’t think it will end.  I don’t think they will want it to.

It’s our time to reconnect.  Our time away from all of the roles we play all day.  Our time to just be child and nurturer.

They need that.  I need that.

And I think if we all just keep our ears open to each other, we will always find our way back.

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The Gift of a Child

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Magoo and I stayed home last night while TJ took the little two out on some errands.  We were just lounging around chatting.  She talked my ear off for probably about twenty minutes about her field trip to the zoo yesterday.  I heard every detail of every second of the trip.  I liked it.  I wasn’t able to chaperone, but this made me feel like I had been there with her.

At one point, I looked at her, and I asked her if she would always talk to me like this.  I asked her if she would still come in and share her day with me when she becomes a teenager.  She looked at me with an odd expression and told me that of course she would.

To her, nothing will ever change.  Things, and our relationship, will always be as they are now.

Unfortunately, I know better.  I know that her little world will get bigger and bigger each year she grows.

I’m her mom.  I remember her when she couldn’t lift her head up.  That was almost seven years ago.  Seven years from now, she’ll be getting ready to graduate from grade school.

Sometimes I look at her, and she seems so old.  She understands so much.  She can communicate so much.

But then sometimes I look over in quiet moments, and I see her innocence, and I am reminded of just how small she still is.

There’s a beauty to childhood that we don’t often see unless we are able to live with it up close.  There’s the innocence and the purity and the joy and the simplicity.

Children are the closest to God that we will ever come while living in this world.

And to be honest, that absolutely terrifies me.

The more I allow myself the moments to see them and breathe them in, the more I realize what a gift I have been given in being their mom.  It sounds silly to call it a gift.  Because it’s so very much more than that.

I was so excited to see the pictures this afternoon of the new little princess in England.  She’s gorgeous, and she was born with the keys to the world.

But in the eyes of my little girls, I have so much more.  I have the keys to eternity, a glimpse at pure holiness, a touch of absolute purity.

And it breaks my heart and makes me want to sing out in joy.

Magoo had to interview me for a project she is doing at school.  She asked me what the best part of being a mom is.  She laughed at me as I reached for a tissue.  For once, I was speechless.

Because how do you put that into words?

I don’t think I can.

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Discouraged

I have been feeling really discouraged lately.

As a mom, I try really hard to respect my children.  When they are excited, I try to share in it.  When they are acting difficult, I try to figure out what is behind it.  When they are sad, I try to validate those feelings and help them find a way out it.  And when they get scared, I try to accept it.

In other words, I have good intentions.  But like the cliche reminds me, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

But I have just had zero patience lately.

I’m not a yeller.  I sometimes find myself sounding irritated or shocked or annoyed, but in seven years of parenting, I haven’t found myself yelling very often.

Until recently.

And to be fair to myself, children in this house have not been so great at acting respectfully and according to our rules and expectations.

They have been jumping on furniture which is not allowed, and they have continued to do it after being asked to stop.

They have been fighting with each other.

They have been having meltdowns whenever they hear the word “no” or “wait a minute.”

They have been screeching when they get angry instead of using their words to express their emotions.

And at times, there has been some behavior that is less than honest.

And I get it — I have two toddlers, and toddlers aren’t known for expressing their emotions in a calm and socially appropriate manner.

And I always try to be cognizant of that.  I try not to expect more of them than they are developmentally capable of.  I try to show them grace even as I stay strong in my expectations.

But lately, I feel like something in me has broke.  I feel like I’ve gone too long without a real break, and because of that the chaos inside my head is too strong to allow me to effectively deal with the chaos in my world.

But they don’t deserve my lack of patience… even if they don’t really seem cognizant of it.

It makes me feel horrible and out of control.

And in the background of all of this, I am constantly reminding myself that this day will never come again.  They will never be exactly these ages and at exactly these stages of development again.  And that just makes me feel worse — I only have one chance to get it right, and lately I feel like I’ve been getting it all wrong.

I don’t know how to fix it.  I don’t know how to give something that I don’t have.

I don’t know how to be better.

But I really, really wish I did.

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Vulnerable

I’ve spent the latter part of today feeling vulnerable.

I’ve had a problem with this blog of sorts.  It wasn’t a big problem; at least I don’t think it is at this point.  I think I might have just had a hacker of sorts.  I haven’t gotten the specifics back of the scan I paid for yet, but basically it sounded like an unsavory website was trying to increase its search engine ranking by inserting code into my website to make it look like I linked there.

Or at least that’s how I understand it.  Or misunderstand it.  Who knows at this point.

It made me feel really discouraged.  I already pay to have this site hosted and for the domain name, and now I’m  shelling out more money to protect my site from people who promote content that goes against everything I believe in.

I want my site to be a place of honesty and integrity.  It’s not always pretty, but it’s real.  And I share that struggle because I find that’s where hope lies — in that small space where we share a piece of ourselves and find we don’t crumble in the process.

But I get bothered by things, and it’s probably things that most people wouldn’t be so bothered by.   Stuff like this.  And mean comments.  Strangers telling me that the things that I share are pointless and a waste of their time.

And it made me question this whole lifestyle.

A few months ago, I had hundreds of readers.  In the grand scheme of the web, that’s less than raindrop in the Atlantic.  Now that I write for other sites as well, there are a lot more readers.  Thousands instead of hundreds.  And from where it stands right now, that will probably grow.  At least that’s the plan.

It’s what I’ve wanted.  It’s what all writers want — we want our voices heard.

And yet when they are heard, it gets scary.

I start to worry.

What if my pictures are stolen?

What if I’m sharing too much about my children?  I try to write about myself as a mom rather than about them as people, but the two obviously intersect.

What if I embarrass people I know by sharing so intimately about myself and my life?

And what if they laugh at my girls, then, because of what I share?

I get worried by my insecurities — what if people don’t like what I have to say — but that doesn’t stop me from writing.  What could stop me is if it hurts or embarrasses others.

But here’s the problem.  I don’t know how to stop.

I don’t write because I think I have something important to say.  I don’t write because I like the sound of my words.  I don’t write because I want people to like me.

I write because it’s the only way I know how to exist in the world.

For many, many years, I was so afraid of touching the world.  I would hole up in myself, afraid my every word or action or touch could hurt those around me.  I lived trying not to make waves, trying as hard as possible not to really exist.

And obviously that isn’t living at all, and it leads to some pretty dark places.

Slowly, I started to venture out.  I can’t say I’m fully comfortable now.  There are still times when I want to lock the world out because I’m so afraid of hurting people.  But I’m much better at overcoming that these days.

When I decided to start this blog a few years ago, it was a big step for me.  After so many years of hiding who I was and what I thought and believed and how I experienced life, I decided to let people know.

And I love it.

For me, there is nothing more rewarding than sharing the less than perfect parts of me and seeing that others are still there and that in fact, others share the same doubts and trials and struggles.  I don’t think there’s any better way to connect with someone than through absolute integrity.  People don’t relate to the shiny parts of other people’s lives.  They relate to the struggles.  The struggles unite us.

And so to realize that I now have a larger audience with which to share my message is absolutely exhilarating to me.  I can be real for more people and I can make more people feel less alone in their struggles.  I can make a difference.

But then the doubts come in.  The insecurities.

It might sound weird and probably obnoxious, but I don’t really feel like I’ve chosen to write like this.  I didn’t sit down one day and think, “gee I’m going to start sharing all the dark parts of my life.”

No.

I write because I don’t know how not to.  I don’t know how to keep all of this in my head and stay sane.  And I don’t know how to make sense of this whole life unless I can use it to connect with others and make others feel like they have companions on their journey.

So I don’t really know where I’m going with this.

Like I said, I’m just feeling vulnerable.  And uncertain.  And discouraged. And foolish.

But tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow I will begin again.

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