“I don’t get your blog.” Oh, the honesty of a 20-year-old! He is a former student of mine, and our relationship is one built on sarcasm and criticism – offered lovingly, of course.
“I’m writing for myself.”
With no words, his puzzled expression seemed to ask: Then why are you sharing it?
In truth, it’s a fair question. Why in the world would a mother with two children under the age of three spend hours each week writing – when the demands of the house and the career never cease?
Quite simply, I am on a journey of reconciling my story.
With the blog, I am accountable.
With the blog, I am honest.
With the blog, I can’t escape myself.
Over the weekend, I bought locally grown sunflowers to add energy and warmth to our Fourth of July celebration. They were beautiful. But I have a bad history with keeping green things alive.
After only a few hours in my possession, the entire pot had fallen over and the flowers were depressingly wilted.
Isn’t that how we all feel as parents at some point during our day? Our heads (and spirits) begin to droop, our mouths grow parched, and it seems we are left to desiccate beneath the intense sun that only small children can project.
But, that very night, an amazing thing happened. Those dejected flowers, the ones that held no promise of a successful future, sprouted back to life. In the face of failure, I had chosen to resign. My husband, however, watered the flowers, shifted their location, and allowed time for nature to heal itself.
And, in this, a different perspective changed everything.
As I settled into bed a few hours later, I pondered my life, my parenting, and my writing. It feels far too easy to succumb to the “I wish I had” regrets – the “I’m not good enough” pity party. But then I think about those two resilient sunflowers that – despite all the flaws that I (and likely only I) see in my mothering – continue to grow and thrive.
Will chronicling my motherhood journey save the world? No, but it is changing me. And in the process, I am recording words that will one day – I hope – speak life into two new parents who will inevitably wonder if they, too, will fry beneath unyielding sunlight.
Kids, your story is your own. Let time and love heal you. And, when you are ready, rise to the challenge of every day. For if you live long enough, you will appreciate how the wilting always preceded the growing.