26
Feb

What was our rush?

I remember starting out with you.
Each moment of our lives, I remember every, single last detail.
I remember the moment we met, how fitting we were.
I remember feeling close to you, a stranger.
I remember having a dream about you that night, I remember how comfortable and safe my dream was.
And, when I saw you again, I remember your smile when I walked into the bar.
I remember how happy and light it felt, but still comforting, safe.
We were kids, barely legal to drink, and we were family.

But somehow, we got caught up.
And looking back at our book of love, we rushed through so many chapters.
Always hoping for our next step.
And as I jokingly said to you, what do we wait for next...death?

And maybe it's because I was born 40
and maybe it's because you were always a kid at heart
and maybe it's because I had so much to prove
but somehow, we got caught up in the rush of it all
and we grew up too quickly.

This weekend, as we were watching our Friday night date movie
(because movies were always where and how we started).
We watched this young couple start their own book.
And for some reason, this movie hit us both so hard.
It brought up back to the beginning.
About how young we were
about how much fun it was then
and it left us wondering what was our hurry?
What was the rush, what deadline did we have?
There was a time when all we argued over was the laundry
and maybe you're right...
maybe we would have found more to fight about,
but maybe, just maybe...laundry would be our only tense moments.
Why did we have to grow up?
What was our rush?

But, as you remind me...
we wouldn't have met them
and we would have regretted that.
We wouldn't have grown into who we are
and we are still pretty great.
We would have held other babies and felt an ache
because you always wanted dad to be a title you held.
We would have missed out on building our house
because we all turned it into our home.

So why did we have to grow up?
Because everyone does I guess.
Because time continues to move forward.
Because Mia wouldn't have lived forever, even though she was the start of our family.
Because all that I am, is because of you.
There isn't an ounce of me that doesn't belong to you and what you believed I could be
who you believed I should be.
You believed in me, in us, always.
You made me reach, you challenged me, you made me believe in us too.

But, you have to admit...
if you could go back
if you could start it over again
if you knew the outcome would all be the same
you would jump at that chance.
And maybe, just maybe, we would linger more.
Maybe, just maybe, we would step back and really savor that time.
Maybe, just maybe, we would realize
there's no need to rush.
Time would get us here anyway.

24
Feb

Five Minute Friday - slow

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on slow.
Go.

Slow and deliberate.
On your own time.
Taking it all in, observing and then finding your own way.
These are the traits I hope you always hold on to, this is the real you.
Continue to find your own way
continue to be slow
make deliberate decisions
find your own pace.

Because I too am deliberate, I too overthink.
I too look at the situation from all angles and I too read a room.
I too connect with people, get them.
But in my life, I have learned to rush and be intense.
I have learned to run and win at racing about,
you are my reminder to relish in the slow.
This is who you are, my slow and deliberate girl.

Reckless and at times dangers.
Quick to jump in.
Never slowing down.
Always on the move.
Do first, think later.
All in, always all in.
These are the traits I hope you always hold on to, this is the real you.
Continue to burn down the path,
continue to not overthink, just do,
find your own pace.

Because your father was also reckless.
He too was always moving.
He too jumped right in, which is why he was able to walk right up to me and start talking like we knew each other always.
Which is why he is my balance.
Which is why we did a triathlon, even though I didn't know how to swim.
He is always challenging me, always connecting with people, always friendly and loving and all in.
But life has slowed him down and made him worry.
Fatherhood makes him see all the danger, all the things that could go wrong
But you are his reminder of fun, you are his challenge to bring him back to where he started.
This is who you are, my reckless little boy.

And you both are balance in our lives.
You remind us to ask all of the questions, to really think and process
and to jump, stop thinking, don't listen, and jump.
You remind us to enjoy our food slowly, savoring each wonderful bite
while also eating with your whole face, as fast as you can.
You remind us to slow down and pay attention to notice
while also run as fast and as hard as you can.

This is who you are.

Stop.

17
Feb

Five Minute Friday - weak

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on weak.
Go.

Each day, I strap on my fighting gloves and I head out, prepared for battle.
Ready to take on those that tell me I can't, because I do it anyway.
Ready to prove them wrong and therefore I have to be right.
Ready to show them my strength, even when they tell me I am not made for this.
Ready to show them I make my own place, even when they tell me I shouldn't be there because that's not where I belong.
Ready to show them that I will keep marching, I will keep my own beat, not the one you put in my head.
Ready to be heard, so I scream really loud.
Ready to stand up for me, because your words of hate won't be accepted, not here.
I wear my armor, all of the gear to protect me, and battle on.
And the gear looks different each time.
It comes in the form of running shoes and race bibs.
It comes in the form of swim suits and a woman close to 40 learning how to swim.
It comes in the form of business suits and spread sheets.

Even if it means I have to battle myself.
Because what I fight most is the weakness that lives in me.
The weakness that was nurtured because you were afraid to raise strength.
The meek
the go to person because she never says no
the pleaser
the one that gives in
the fake smile
the one that holds it all inside
until I fight back, but only to those I love and trust the most.
And that's when I do the most damage.

So what happens when the warrior is tired of war?
What happens when she is sick of all the fighting in her life?
What happens when she wants to retire her gloves?
What happens when she wants to just feel safe in the life she has created?
What happens when she no longer wants to destroy, only build?
What happens when she now needs calm?
What happens when she wants her gear to come in the form of love?
Will she be seen as weak, or giving up?
What message is she sending to their faces, their worried eyes?
Are they more anxious of the fight, or will they remember the cuts she took to the chest and how she battled on?

Is strength defined as screaming and stomping, I am strong!
or is the real definition seen through the quiet of poise and grace?
Is it seen through being an anchor for them and for you?
Is it seen in trusting in you and the life you created?
Is it seen as conquering weakness by walking through fear?
Is it seen as realizing, you define you.
You define you.

Stop.

12
Feb

What I would give

There are days, when I just have nothing left to give.
I have been with you all week, and now the weekend is here and I am in charge again.
I don't know what to do to make the noise stop.
The exhaustion of being your mom, it is crushing.
And then I remember how deafening the silence will be.
How I will long for the noise, how I will turn up the TV too loud, just to make it seem like the house if full.

IMG_7251

There are days, when you two can't get along.
You can't be in the same space.
Everything ends in a fight, screaming, yelling, running.
The entire family is off and we spend our moments screaming at each other because we are screaming at them.
And then I remember that she will leave first.
He will be here with just us and we will have to find a way to be without her.

IMG_7427

There are days when my "have tos" are never ending.
Work and mom and laundry and cleaning up and homework and activities and the house and work and more laundry.
The days when I am not sure when I will ever sit.
When it will ever end.
And then I remember that we built a house that they turned into a home.
We will one day feel the walls spread out, the space is empty.

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There are days the running won't stop.
You are all underfoot and I can't have a minute to breathe, or pee or be.
All I am is tugged on, and asked to do, and asked to look, and asked to help.
Days that I question every decision I make.
And then I remember that we are all afraid.
We are all living in fear,
we all question every decision.

There will come a day I will want it all back.
The good, the bad, the ugly.
The loud, the quiet, and the love.
The terrible, the fights, the hugs.
The tantrums, the screaming, the bedtime routines.
The running, the awful, the kindness.
And all I will think is, what would I give?

What would I give to go back and remember how many days you did get it right.
The days that you play together so well, so so well.
The days that you remember to be kind, to each other, to me, to yourself.
The days I remember to be kind to me and to you.
The days that you are all hugs, the days you and I smile.
The days that we have dance parties, and we laugh.
The days that the pizza is so good and so warm, and the movie is just right.
The days that we count down to pancake Sunday and that dinner is so much talking and excitement.
What would I give to hold you again, to remember how small you were and how well you fit.
What would I give to remember how small your hand was and how you loved to hold mine.
What would I give for you to come to me for advice, your venting space.
What would I give for just us four to be at the heart of our home.

10
Feb

Five Minute Friday - safe

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on safe.
Go.

I want you to always feel that this is your base
that we are your comfort
that this house turned home is your foundation and your rock
that here, inside these walls, surrounded by love is where you feel safe.

I too feel safe here
my most comfortable
my most cozy.

I want this to be a place you can always feel right at home,
right where you belong.
Because although we will challenge you
although we will ask you to rise to greatness
you can also come here to rest your head
and your tired eyes
and your bones that need healing.

You can come here to recharge and regroup before you head back out and do you.
Home is where you are safe,
where you are loved
where you have a team.

Home and safe should all be one word here.
Interchangeable even.
Because I built a life of love and safety
even during our times of stress and confusion and feeling lost.
Home was my compass
home is where I feel most safe.

Home was not always defined as safe for me,
which is why as an adult I need to make sure it now is.
I will not allow it to feel any other way
I will remove all hate and fear from these walls
I will allow only us, the real us, to live here.

Home will always be your safe haven.
Your refuge and your calm.
A place for us to reconnect and remind ourselves that we are in this together,
we are all on the same team.
You are safe here little faces, you are safe.

Stop.

5
Feb

With or without me

I don't know what this life holds.
I have no idea what the future is.
But recently, I have been thinking a lot about what I want you to take away from our time together.
This crazy fleeting time that we have.
We are not going to be so intimately in one another's lives forever.
No matter what and where life leads, this I know.
I know that this time of just us four, it isn't forever.

And so, please remember
to always be kind
to always love, no matter what, put love first
to always work for what you want
that to be great does not mean to always be happy
but to be great does mean to finally find joy
that with your privilege comes the responsibility to speak for those that were not born with the same privilege
that a long rainy day washes a lot away
and a snuggled snow day covers the earth in a new clean white
that you need to find a friend and partner in your person
that you need to laugh hard with your person
that you should always want to hold hands with your person
that family is anything you define
that traditions are important and loving
that school is important and learning is forever
that your eyes, the ones you got from him, should never lie
to keep going, even when you don't want to
to make time and room and space for you
especially when the years of insane sacrifice of you are needed, especially then.

Remember that we had love here
remember what we taught you
remember that you taught us too
remember how much and how hard we loved you
remember that we rarely got it right and never got it perfect but we died trying
and remember how much we wanted and loved for you.

Remember that we lost a part of ourselves when we met you
we had to let so much go to gain something very different.
Remember that you are special, but not better or worse than anyone else.
Remember that you are smart, but you have to keep learning.
Remember that you were born lucky, and you aren't allowed to use that as a better than.
Remember that not any one of us is allowed to give up, ever.
Remember that you redefined beauty for me.
Remember patience and humor
God, please remember to always and forever laugh.

Remember us, remember our times and our love.
Remember that each day, we reshaped and redefined our family because you made it so.
But always and forever remember, with or without me,
the gorgeous and crazy beauty in our love.

3
Feb

Five Minute Friday - BREATHE!

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on BREATHE.
Go.

About two years ago, I started doing yoga.
Not as a work out routine, but as a practice.
And I learned to breathe.
I learned to pay close attention to how I breathe,
and to have my breath and movement be one.
I learned that my body can be uncomfortable, but not in pain.
I learned to push myself out of my comfort,
to trust in me,
to trust in my body,
even though it has let me down in the past
even though it fails me
even though a disease takes my body and movement from me
I learned to trust in that very body
because my breath would move me
my breath would make me strong
I learned to breathe.

I learned to close my eyes
to trust in time
I learned to let go of control but gain it back
I learned about me and what I am made of
I learned that I am capable
because I learned to breathe.

I learned, once again to redefine beauty.
Because I am not graceful
I do not look right
my body doesn't align and therefore everything looks wrong.
But, I have grace and patience, even with not being graceful.
And I have courage and love, even if it looks wrong.
Because I learned to breathe.

I learned in my practice that life is a lot like this.
That life makes you uncomfortable, but you can use your breath to guide you
you can use your breath to stop fighting yourself.
I learned that when life turns you upside down, you should go with it
I learned that in life, you should always breathe.

And although something each of us does naturally seems so silly to practice, the truth is
most of us spend our days holding our breath.
Most of us spend our time tense and tight and clinched.
Most of us spend our days tied to a list.
Most of us forget that we are capable of so much more.
Most of us forget to deeply, and with intention and purpose,
to breathe.

Yoga for me became a transformation of me.
A time for me to fall in love with me again
a time for me to accept my limitations and what my body is capable of and not
a time to remember that life has purpose and meaning
and it is not to cross off a to do
life has beauty and there is rhythm
and there is space when you make it
to breathe.

Because when I finally found my breath again
I found purpose
I found trust in me
I found love of me
I found me
every time I breathe.

Stop.

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