It’s time for new beginnings…a time to roll the calendar and the insurance deductible over and to start your taxes and crank up the heat while you look forward to the big spring thaw.
But for me, the new year has always been a time of looking back on the good and the bad of the previous seasons. It’s nice to see how we’ve survived and even thrived over the last 365 days. 2017 was a good one for us. All three kids have been healthy. Charlie is officially off his seizure meds and I say a prayer daily/hourly that he will stay seizure-free. We have settled in to new jobs and I am finally writing full-time.
The writing has been the biggest shift.
I have always been a writer. Just ask my sixth grade lit. teacher. But the years and the various jobs (a publishing house in New York, a high school in Nashville and everything in between, including bakeries and corporate communications departments) pulled me in other directions.
Ironically, it was having children that pulled me back again into that headspace where words take the shape of a page. It began with a story, a children’s tale of a dog with a too-large tongue who had to find his place on a farm where efficiency and production are everything. I wrote it for Charlie in those early days of trachs and oxygen monitors when his own floppy tongue was seen as an obstacle by everyone but me. For me it was just a part of who he was…what made him. It was a way to explain the magic of my son to the outside world.
And then, once the twins came along two years later, something that had been rolling around like a pinball in my mind finally found its place.
I began to write.
In the dark 4:30 mornings in an oversized chair in the living room, the story of my journey to motherhood and the expectations set and then set aside found their page. I typed, paused to listen for sounds overhead of people stirring, and typed some more.
I lived again the hope deferred of infertility, the pit of grief that is miscarriage, the hormonal riptides of IVF, and the NICU and all its trauma. This time was also my devotional. I wrote and read Scripture—always a tandem activity with me. I read of other women in the Bible who hoped and lost and won and walked a road they would never have chosen on their own. Those women were me. And so they walked onto the pages of my story too.
And now, a year later, my kids a year bigger, I get to see the story come to fruition. Three months from now, on April 10th, UNBOUND: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood, will hit the shelves. It’s already on Amazon.
My looking back has led to a looking forward.
I am so grateful for this last year and all the ones before it (even the ones I would have Exacto-knifed out not so long ago).
I am grateful for this upcoming year when my story reaches other women struggling to match the picture in their minds of motherhood to the one they wake up to every day. I hope it will help. I hope it will bring on the feeling of a collective huddle—all of us together rubbing shoulders in the here and now.
If you have any questions, things you’d specifically like me to talk about, please let me know! I am an open book. Literally.