Monday, March 30, 2015

We Count

"Whatever coaxes us out of hiding, to write, record, and express, is a revolutionary act. It says that we believe our lives count: our lives do count." SARK

I came across this quote in my meditative reading this morning. It struck a deep chord with me. For a good portion of my life I knew I mattered to others, but I didn't count to myself. My journaling and this blog has really developed over the past few years and that is exactly the time frame that I have started to count, to me. I do things that are good for me, I put myself as a priority and make my voice heard because I and what I think and feel does matter. It matters to me! I'm not special, I don't deserve special treatment, but I count!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

An Ode to Parents...

Parenthood took me by surprise, and continues to thrill me with new revelations.  I somehow walked into this incredible job without knowing a thing about how to raise a kid or what all the first 5 years of life entailed.  It has been a "short and steep road to enlightenment".  
One of the activities for my baby shower before my first child was born was to write out the best advice you could give a new parent.  I still love flipping through these cards because they hold such relevant sage wisdom from generations of women before me.  One of my favorites came from a very reliable source, my sister, who said "Trust yourself and your instincts.  No matter what other advice you get, you are that baby's mommy and you know what she needs".  I first read this card when I was nose deep in pregnancy and parenting books and magazines.  The advice is thick in those things.  Then for some reason when you’re pregnant (and even when you have small children) strangers take it upon themselves to give you countless stories and pieces of advice whenever they please.  It is a world-wind of amazingly true and great advice and downright junk!
I have remembered the words of my sister on countless occasions when I am questioning myself and if we are doing the right thing.  My oldest, my dear sweet daughter, has this innate ability to calm me when I am having a mommy melt down.  It started at my 20 week ultrasound.  A cousin of mine was pregnant at the same times as I was and was due 2 weeks prior.  Her status updates were a constant "What to expect next" chapter in my pregnancy.  We all take for granted that everything is developing along fine in there up until this point (as long as we have no major history, healthy weight gain and we can hear the baby's heart beat).  I had passed on all of the specialized tests because I knew in my heart that the results of those would in no way change how I felt about this baby or pregnancy.  Well my cousins’ appointment didn't go so well, and there were some major health concerns with her unborn child.  Those two weeks for me were agony!  I thought of every single what if, and let me tell you, since I am a nurse, there were a lot!  We walked into the ultrasound completely afraid of what my doctor could find.  The very first picture that we have of Annabelle in utero is of her giving us a thumbs up, like "it's ok in here mom, we got this"!  She has come through in flying colors every other time I need a chill pill since!
Today I had one of those moments that I was at a major crossroads and didn't know what to do.  I was trying to reach out to all of my resources, but ended up having to rely on my gut instinct.  Once again, Annabelle and I figured it out and made the right decision.  It suddenly struck me how true these words are, but not only for mommy's but for all primary care givers.  Whomever that child relies on to change their diapers, serve their meals, wipe their tears and noses, we are the ones who know them best.  We know every different pitch of a cry, we know their cry separate from everyone else's on the playground, we know every look and every expression.  I don't know if this connection and immediate sense of knowing what from what extends past toddler years, but I have to believe it does.  I know my little girl.  I know my son.  I know their hearts.  I know when they are really sick and can't tell me, and even when I say I don't know and am at a loss, somehow my presence, my smell and my simple touch is what they need.  It is an amazing feeling and an incredible honor to be a parent...I just hope that I can remember this perspective the next time my 2 year old son says "hey mom watch this"!