6
Apr

I never knew

This week is your birthday.
And before you
before us
before this connection
there was so much, too much
I never knew.

First, I had no idea how I would be as a mother.
And you sweet angel, you made it so easy.
You never ever made me feel like a first-time mom.
You didn't give me new mom fog.
You were just always here, we always fit and we were always connected in this weird and wonderful way.
I never knew how brave I could be until I said yes to you.

I never knew how much I would adore having a daughter.
I never knew how great believing in happily ever after would feel.
I never knew how great feeling like a queen would feel.
I never knew how gorgeous I would feel standing next to you.
I never knew there was power in pink.
I never knew what grace looked like.

I never knew that beauty does not come from a mirror, it came from the eyes of someone who saw you as everything.
I never knew you could quiet years of not liking yourself by holding a gorgeous girl in your arms.
I never knew how important it would be to let you be any form of girl you wanted to be, including loving all things girl.
From dolls to princesses to pink and purple to twirling and dancing to singing and dresses.
You were this girl and I was all in with you.
I never knew that your love for girl would finally make me love being the woman I am.

I never knew I would have a shadow and I never realized how much I would adore that too.
I never knew I wouldn't want my space from you.
I never knew that I would have no problem answering your questions, holding you close.
I never knew how important all the little steps were to make you feel like I will always be here.
I never knew how big all the little things would be to you.
I never knew how important bedtime snuggles would be, how much you would bask in love.

I never knew how much you would look like your dad.
How much it would make me fall in love with him all over again.
I never knew just how handsome I had married, until I met you.

I never knew how strong I could make all the princess you loved.
Belle for being brave, her love of reading.
Moana who wasn't a princess at all.
Rapunzel for finally leaving her tower.
Anna for being so loving and proving once and for all, love is all you need.
I never knew how easy it was to make strong the new pretty.

I never knew how much you would love Cole.
How important that relationship would be to me,
how much you two will always need each other.
I never knew how great it would feel to introduce you to the concept of framily and how important it is you pick the right people to spend your time with.

I never knew how simple love was.
How just being with you, spending time with you, made everything for you so much more special.
I never knew how much you would recognize my stress
how much like me you would be.
How much you would cry and laugh and how hard and loud each of those emotions would sound, how easily and quickly they would come.

But what I know now, all you have taught me is that I wasn't really me until I met you.
You allowed me to slide into a place of rest and love and acceptance.
And what I also know now is I cannot imagine a life without you in it.

I never knew,
how much I would love you.

22
Sep

Five Minute Friday - accept

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 accept.
Go.

My daughter and I are reading a new book together, Wonder.
It's been all over every bookstore and elementary school but it's about a strong and dedicated family who has two children, one was born with many obstacles.
August was born with genes and gene mutations that caused his face to look deformed.
He has undergone so many surgeries, so many life-saving procedures and was for a very long time just living in a hospital.
He has been homeschooled for most of his life and in middle school, his family decided that it was time they stop.
Stop treating him as delicate.
Stop treating him differently.
Stop treating him as breakable.
And start him on the path to normal.

He has an older sister, she is in high school and she too has grown up quick.
Not because the home isn't loving and supportive and full of grace
but because so much attention has been focused on sick.

It's a story of acceptance.

As I read to my eight-year-old, there so many questions and topics we have to cover.
That's the point of the book.
She's 8 so she doesn't yet comprehend that not everyone is a friend.
She doesn't realize that friendly doesn't equal friend.
She doesn't know that you create a circle and who you choose to spend time with.
She doesn't know that circle is a reflection of who you are.
She doesn't know about mean.
She doesn't know about looks and how important they are because she's right, they're not.
She doesn't know about clicks and hurt.
She doesn't know about singling out, talking behind backs, making people feel bad...on purpose.
She doesn't know that accepting yourself will one day be hard.
She doesn't know that there will be a time she will question everything good about her.
She doesn't know that there will be a time she will have to decide if she is accepting of this behavior, this outcome, this person.
She doesn't know.

And as we dive deeper and deeper, there are moments I feel I am taking away her innocence.
I am taking away some sweet parts of the world this child holds.
The parts she sees through the eyes of a child.
Because even though she has an old soul, she doesn't believe in darkness.
Not yet.

And so, sweet Anna...
it starts with accepting who you are.
Your good, your bad, your limitations, your point of no return, yourself.

It then means bringing people into your fold that accept you, all of you, as you are.
They laugh at your crazy with you.
They help you to see the humor in life.
They too accept your good, your bad, your limitations, your point of no return, they accept you.

That also means you accept them.
You surround yourself with people that talk about ideas, not people.
You hold each other to standards of kindness and affection.
You realize that none of this matters.
That beauty has nothing to do with how you look.

But the start of all of this, is you.
I have always surrounded myself with those that accept me.
Not because I am enlightened, because as an introvert, big and popular are never important.
Small circles of connection matter most.
I have always accepted them, because I have loved them and what they have meant to me down to my toes.
But, it took me over 30 years to accept me.
It took looking into the eyes of a daughter I put here and saying
acceptance starts with me.

Stop.

24
Aug

I will wait for you

In happens all at once.
You become a different child, a different person and I lose you.
I feel you slipping farther and farther away.
The real you, she disappears.
And what is left is a tired, angry, and former version of you.
I don't recognize who you are.
Your words are full of anger, rage, red hot rage.
Your eyes are not yours.
Your voice, your personality, it all slips away.
Your laugh comes with such authority.
You dig in, as hard as you can.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

I slip into your room, we lay down, face to face.
I start my confession.
I feel as though I am losing you, as though I have lost you and I just want you to know, that I miss you.
The tears, they start trickling down your face and mine.
The honestly just pours out of me and I always wonder if this is too much information for you to hear.
My disappointment is hurtful.
My anger is trying to cool.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

Kissing noses, you say that you love me, that you are sorry.
I tell you that I know this isn't the real you, that you are full of good and love.
You are kind and caring, you are loving.
I know that you can lead.
I know that you are the definition of love.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

I know that tough times are ahead.
Times where I will lose you all together.
Times where you will be trying to figure out who you are so your definition of self will change every day,
almost moment to moment.
I know that this is just our beginning.
That the little person I put on this earth and loved and thought I knew so well is fighting for her own identity.
And I kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

At the end of your journey,
your self discovery,
I will be here.
I will be waiting for you.

No matter who she is.
No matter your choice,
I will kneel down and wait for you.
I will wait for you.

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