13
Apr

Five Minute Friday - pressure

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 pressure.

Go.

It's not Friday, it's actually late Monday night and the first time I've had a chance to do this. Not because I've been under too much pressure, but because I took the whole weekend off. You know how sometimes that can recharge you and other times you feel the pressure build? I had both happen. I had so much fun this weekend, but also kept a running list in my head of what I needed to still do.

I also had a lot of responsibilities unexpectedly fall into my lab this weekend and instead of the pressure building there, I took it in stride. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes the pressure is so much and sometimes it all just happens to fall into place. But, as you are too well aware of little faces of mine, there was a time when any little thing pushed this mama of yours over the edge. The pressure was built to boiling and I could not keep the lid on the pot. I was always exploding. There is a reason I need to remember those days and who I was then. I need to remind myself I cannot let it get to that point again. Busy, sure. Lots to do, okay. Too much to do sometimes, we can handle that. Lots of lists, I love a list.

But the pressure that made my head hurt for years. The one that made it so I couldn't chew because my jaw hurt. The kind that made me feel like someone was always standing on my chest. The pressure that made me shake and have nightmares. The one that made me cry so much and stole my joy, I allowed all of that to happen. I asked for it and I did more and more to welcome it into my life, our lives. That pressure I cannot tolerate anymore and have to know when I am getting close to the fire and walk away.

Life can be hard, it can be filled with things we feel are "have tos". Life is also pretty gorgeous and can be filled with a lot of laughter. So tonight, I had a meeting at 8, it was pretty important to me and the community that I want around me. But my brand new 12 year old daughter asked me with her big eyes if we could have a reading date and I blew it off. I sat in bed with her, we read and then I put her to bed and wrote to you. I picked well.

Stop.

6
Apr

12

I don't know Belle, it has been quite a year from 11 to 12. Something has changed, but stayed all the same. This year, you have held on to little so deeply and still grown and become who you are meant to be.

This year, we talked and walked and laughed a lot. You turn to me now, you and I became closer, somehow. There are a lot of things about 2020 that I want to keep and carry forward. This is one of the things I won't allow us to give up. Our late night walks and talks. Our snuggles, our reading dates, our love of Pearl, our holding hands, our relationship. I will hold on to those for dear life sweetie.

We became a thing in 2020 didn't we? After years of you asking me when I was going to come down from this crazy schedule, after years of me talking about when I would only run my business and be more available, we arrived. It mattered to you, it mattered to you a lot. You really were asking for me. You wanted my attention, all on you. You wanted me to know things. You wanted to tell me your stories, and without it, I lost you for a minute there. I lost you to a side of girl I don't love. I lost you to drama you were not into, but could not shy away from. I lost you to you not being you and we had to find who you were again.

Now, I adore you, but in no way am I going to sit here and not recognize all we still have to work on...like your tone with Cole, like your heart with him. Yes, he is younger and a little brother but he loves you in a way that cannot be described. We have to work on you not getting lost again. We need to make sure you always remember who you are and not blindly follow. You are you, and I need you to hold strong to who you really are.

But, we did 2020 right sweet girl. We got all of our time in, even more than we both wanted. I know you missed a lot and I know there were times you were so sad, but you worked hard on holding on to all of the good. You worked hard on being a good friend and a great daughter. You worked hard on loving our Pearl, you put her first. You did school with her, you read with her, she really is going to miss you.

So, two years ago, when you became my double-digit girl, I bought you a matching necklace. One we both wear every single day. This year, as you turn 12 (gulp) I have this front-row seat on watching you falling in and out of the in-between. Every day, walking one step farther away, but that's ok. You really are taking your time and I so love you for it. I love you for doing it apart from knowing how much I need it too.

So here's the thing Anna James. You think you aren't tough enough, you are enough. You think you aren't strong enough, you are enough. You think you can't do a lot of things, but you can. This falling in and out of the in-between has you still thinking you can be taken care of and although we will always and forever take care of our girl, it is time for her to realize how much she can do. I'm in there baby girl. I'm in there too. You have to trust and believe me on this, you can do hard things and you being scared is totally fine, do not let it stop you. Let that little voice guide you on what feels right and wrong but do not for one second think I can't. We've got you, but you've got this.

Alright 12 year old. We will see what coming out of COVID and walking into teenage years means for us. I hope it means that as we figure this out, we do so together. I hope it means the talking does not stop. I hope it means as you realize all you are capable of, you remember where you came from. I'm proud of you Anna. I'm proud and honored to be your mama. I'm happy you found us. I love your heart, your smile, your dimple, your laugh, your I love yous, your hugs, the fact that you're a book nerd, I love your love of Pearl, I love your love of traditions, I love that you hold us accountable to them.

I love you 12 year old. Happy birthday to you.

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