Finding Their Voice

It’s been a long break from writing. When my own mother wants to know why I haven’t written, you know it’s been a long time.

Frankly, I haven’t quite known where to start and how to begin. Life has been chaotic, tumultuous and riddled with ups and downs since my last post in January. Yet, that’s not what has kept me quiet.

To be honest, I’ve selfishly relished my personal sequester in privacy and anonymity in real life. Sequestered, pretending I’m leading a normal life not connected to the chronicle of our lives and my emotional roller coaster with my brain tumor.

Sometimes, it takes time to find the words to sum up how you are living experiences in your life. I guess it came down to about 30 seconds on a crowded suburban playground, a crap ass day and a mommy time out to finally find my voice at 11 pm on April 1.

So, thank you psycho helicopter mom on the playground this afternoon with your gaggle of eager followers for inspiring my return to writing. Thank you. Really, it was epic.

It was finally a gorgeous day in Atlanta and I took the kiddos to the park. It happened to be spring break so that was an added bonus!

As the boys played in the big kids play scape, I stood watching Harper toddle around the little kids playground with mulch and rocks in her grips as she maneuvered over stairs, in and out of little wooden buildings and down slides.

I stood alone behind a gaggle of moms hovering over their broods in a competitive conversation that made my head hurt.

I stood relaxed.

I stood confident of what I knew she could conquer and what she couldn’t. I stood experienced after three children with the knowledge that her instinct for caution would kick in before I had to worry.

I know her. She is mine. Enough said.

So, as she toddled about with mulch in one hand and a rock in another, I was taken by surprise when Miss Helicopter loudly announced… “That poor child is eating a rock. Looks like supervision isn’t her mom’s thing.” All while her gaggle of followers chimed in and agreed and the supreme helicopter’s feathers fluffed from her self-appointed perch.

Well, Harper wasn’t eating a rock.

The most she did was hold it to her face. I know this because I could see it from the distance I was watching.

Miss Helicopter must have sensed the hair on my back rise and the scent of a mothers wrath, since she looked at me and had an awkward expression.

I returned her awkward glance with a death glare of epic proportions. My own mother would be proud.

I resisted the temptation to call her out on her insane and inappropriate comment. I resisted the need to simply just tell her to shut the fuck up and tell her all the ways from the sun and back that she was bat shit crazy… but it didn’t. I live in what can be characterized as a large, small town.

I resisted the temptation to call to Harper by name. Resisted calling her to come to me, remove the items from her hand and follow the helicopters standards of parenting. I resisted the temptation to go to her and claim her as mine. I resisted. Not because I was wrong, embarrassed or shamed.I just resisted and simply watched her toddle with joy.

I assessed and I processed.

I talked myself off that cliff of irrationality.

I gritted my teeth and I cursed that bitch in my head through my sunglasses.

However, I grinned as I watched Harper toddle with mulch in one hand and a rock in another as she climbed the little stairs to the little slide and with confidence, embark upon the joy that is a ride down a slide and a high-five from mom at the bottom.

I grinned with joy as Miss Helicopter and her gaggle watched on in silence.

It has been months since I wrote and so much had happened, yet it took this to get me to write and to reconnect with my voice.

So, it comes down to this. One day my children will read this and they will remember these moments that I chronicle and they will laugh, they will cry and they will have questions.

I will not be around forever, nobody is. However I happen to have a little fire growing under my ass and a brain tumor in my head. I am inspired by these moments in life and they keep me writing.

I am inspired by this. Inspired because it highlights the lessons Paul and I are teaching the kiddos. The life skills and coping mechanisms we’re attempting to instill daily in each of our children and the strong independent individuals we hope they become.

Guess what my beautiful children? You will fall down. That is a fact. Your father and I will not always be there to pick you up and often we will choose not to. You will get hurt and you will bleed. You will get up and you will make another attempt and it may be a repetitive process. You will get dirty and yes, you may eat dirt too. We hope eventually you will be successful but life comes with no guarantees. In the process you will learn and you will grow. You will be a stronger individual for trying and more importantly, stronger for not giving up.

So, it’s ok that my children toddle supervised from a reasonable distance on the playground and it’s ok that they take risks and learn how to climb, how to get up after those falls and of course it’s ok that they toddle with mulch, little rocks and a smile on their faces.

My voice in their ears will not always be there so it’s my job now, today, to teach them how to believe in themselves, find their independence, grab those high fives at the end of that slide of life and develop their own voice.

We play old school.

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16 thoughts on “Finding Their Voice

  1. I found your blog a while back, then lost it, found it again. I saw an old post that August is your anniversary month. Mine is actually July AND August. Glad to be here on your journey.

    • So glad you found me again! Thanks for following along and I am so sorry it has taken so long to respond. Hope you are doing well on your end and I wish you well!

  2. This is a beautiful post and I’m glad I found your blog. I don’t know why other mothers feel the need to comment on others parenting. It’s amusing and heartbreaking that the mean girl mentality from high school follows some into motherhood. Thanks for writing. Justine

    • Sorry for the long delay in responding! Appreciate your comment and agree that much of the nasty behavior of HS does follow with some women into motherhood. Thanks for following along and for your comment!

  3. Beautifully said. I think parents who attempt to protect their kids from experiencing a bump in the road or even failure are doing their kids a huge disservice. We can’t shelter them forever, and the sooner they learn the beauty of their own strength and resilience, the happier they will be in the real world.

  4. It is great to read you again. The message is so true as I too stand away from the helicopter moms and opt to supervise cautiously from a distance the ups and downs of my daughters journey through life. You Rock!

  5. Wonderful, you are back writing/talking pure common sense – your young family are blessed to be supervised from afar but close enough to watch them grow independently and not be wrapped in cotton wool they as were our family allowed to enjoy their freedom.

  6. There is nothing like the look of pride on your child’s face when they decided to take a chance and they succeed (or when they don’t quite make it)….ALL BY THEMSELVES! and you actually get to see it….because you are watching from afar. Its beautiful, your beautiful and I applaud your self control-honestly, I do.

  7. Bueno, bueno, so very bueno. I love your voice. Keep it talking. I am actually a hoverer of sorts, but that’s because my kids are stupid clumsy. 🙂 I let them fall, but I’m close enough to where it–hopefully–won’t result in a cracked open head. And yeah, I have vivid memories of at least a bajillion close calls where that would’ve happened. Like you said you know your kid, and I know mine, and that’s all that matters. And that’s why that other mom judging sets me off. I don’t like the judging from all sides of the parenting spectrum because we are all unique and if we’re half doing what God meant us to do by giving us these kids, we should all know that there’s no “right way” to do anything, so moms like that one at the park should kindly shut their traps. Here’s one for you on keeping quiet during it: “It’s not ladylike to mince words with the unkind, thus I’m simply going to go slash their tires.” You’re welcome. ha ha! 🙂 (That’s in one of my upcoming books.)

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