Friday, December 15, 2017

A Love Letter to My Children

Dear Children,

It's winter. A time when we pull out over a decade worth of tiny handprints on Christmas ornaments. A season when we focus on a baby, and a mama, and a family. A chance to reflect and remember all the Christmases before, holding tight to the good, and forgetting any bad...or trying to.

I have always said, "I hope my babies remember the best, and forget the worst."

And now, I wonder, will you?

I love you so much that my heart can hardly take the pride attack when you all achieve your goals, give us a glimpse at the people you are becoming, take the initiatives to step toward greatness.

My smile can’t be contained when I watch you all triumph in the face of adversity, even after we argue, even after words have stabbed like daggers, even after temper tantrums, and insecure parenting judgement calls.
Even though you roll your eyes, say heartbreaking things, choose everything else over me—I can’t help but love you.

I love you so much that I sit and watch each of you from a distance, allowing the worries to slip away, and admiring the differences I see between your childhoods and my own, and the similarities. 

You are the babies in my arms even when some of you don’t welcome hugs anymore. You are the little buddies who joined me at every grocery trip, every gas station stop, every morning breakfast table, and every evening snuggle time. One of you takes most of those trips to the gas station on his own now, and a couple of you just eat on the go. Snuggle time? Only half of you need that now...and sometimes, we are all too exhausted to even say goodnight.

My mama heart squeezes tight, and I want to forget for just a moment the fact that one of you is spreading his wings to take flight in a few short years. But, then, I struggle with a longing to speed through these days where every word seems to be a battle, and the angry looks are searing, and so many decisions shatter like glass.

I love you so much that even still, I wake up each morning to see what the day holds for each of you. You are my babies. And no matter what you think about me, I will be here for you until my last breath. You are my children. 

I pray only good things for you. Can you remember only the good things around here? Forget the bad? I can't help but wonder if you will. I can't help but worry. And most of all, I can't help but love you. 


Friday, December 1, 2017

A Mama Can Only Wonder

In my current work-in-progress, my characters have deep loss woven into their back stories, and they
must move forward regardless of the pain.

I think I just described every journey in the human experience. Hopefully, I can write the story in such a way that it's unique enough, yet familiar enough to find its way to shelves one day.

Lately, I've been good. After my enlightening walk through October (you can read it here), and a focus on my family this November, the first day of December promises a continued sprouting joy, and a promise of peace regardless of what's going on around me.

That's me. That's my condition.

But of course, I am not an island, and my heart's threads are strung up like Christmas lights upon the hearts of my children. Today, I can't shake knowing the loss in my children's life because of wrong words and painful rejection--at no fault of their own--and the curiosity is killing me to know how it's affecting them.
As an author, I dissect my characters' strife and hold it up to the light, looking for chances of redemption, but as a mama, I can't peek inside my children's souls and do the same. I can only pray for them. Sure, I can talk to them and rip off the bandaids of silence and try and doctor the wounds myself, but, as we all know, who wants someone digging up the garbage of their pain?

I just sit. And pray. And mourn the crap that they've found along this journey of human experience. Words hurt. Assumptions hurt. When I suffer from such things, I am forever licking my wounds trying to make sense of the why. Do our children do the same? Do they have the insight into pondering the why? In a selfish, ridiculous sense, I hope not. I hope that they just shrug it off, and let it roll away like  raindrops on a window pane--not caring deep enough yet for the crazy mistakes people make. My daughter seems to take life that way. At her young age of six, she is quick to change the topic when it's about a mean kid or a sad instance. But, I know the hurt's not completely gone. I know she's just pushing it aside because it's too much to feel for her little soul.

When will those grievances finally build up enough to push on her heart in such a way she can no longer ignore them?

Life is messy. It hurts to be on the outside looking in, and knowing you are out of control. Actually, that's one thing I learned in October. I try too hard to control others. I apologize because I want to control the peace. I talk waaaay too much and overanalyze so I can find compromise and common ground and be liked and like back. I pick and prod at my children's feelings so I can counsel them and lead them to joy and peace.

But it's not my job.

I am only effective if they are willing to listen. If they are ready to peek beneath the bandages and begin to investigate their hurts--with me guiding them.

My perspective on life has shifted in a good way, but my heart will always feel more than it probably should, and my mind will always travel the roads of others' human experiences--especially my children--aching to inspect how to find redemption for their losses.

Thank God for the calling to write. At least there, I can dive deep, and create alongside the only Redeemer who remembers no grief and wants to throw the bandaids away.

What's a mama writer to do with the non-fiction silence though? Right now, I know I just pray. Love my kids big, and pray that their character arcs are bathed in redemption that only One can bring in full.