Sometimes during the tantrums, the sibling fights over toys, and during the crazy schedule I try to run, I can forget the joy of what I have in front of me. This weekend when we were out to brunch with Matthew, I captured Matthew at his finest. He is kind, energetic, inquisitive (what’s that mom?), and loving. His eyes tell stories and he makes me smile.
This last week at work I had the opportunity to hear Chris Williams speak of his personal story of letting go. He lost his wife and two children to a drunk driving accident almost ten years ago. He spoke of forgiveness and moving forward with his life. It was an unforgettable moment for me to listen to his story. His humbleness, quiet power and gratefulness for the life he has lived helped me to take a deep breath. How many times do I harbor anger for something that has happened to me? How many times have I carried this frustration throughout my days, letting it inadvertently control me? Chris framed forgiveness as a selfish act, saying that the act of letting go helped him to move forward. Wow. What a powerful thing to remember when things don’t go as I want them to go. Here is to hoping that I never have to face something as tragic as Chris to learn this.
For now, I am grateful for the moments. This weekend we enjoyed so much fun together…skiing together, playing pretend together, building castles and jails for Matthew’s infamous “mean guy” together, and snuggling as a family of four squeezed into our queen-sized bed. Sometimes life seems hard, sometimes I have no energy, but always I feel lucky. Lucky to have this little Matthew in my life, lucky that Katharine is his big sister, and incredibly blessed to have Jon to share it with me.
So, what is it? After about two months of posting on this blog stress-free, I decided to go public on facebook and at work that I was doing the blog. What was an outlet for me to write and just be me, became all of a sudden stressful. What is it about putting yourself out there that brings pressure?
It stems from expectations. Prior to going public, the only expectation that I had of myself was to enjoy what I was writing. I started to write this blog as a place where I can be as real as I want to be…a place to bring together the parts of my life. Prior to blogging, I found myself having so many things that I wanted to say and so many stories that I wanted to tell. I never had a place for it in my life. My relationshps, my job and my lack of vulernability just didn’t allow for it. This blog became a place to channel this energy with no fear and no expectations.
Now, I have lifted the my expectations of myself. In the process, I became afraid of exposure and failure. I am hoping that writing about it tonight helps to alleviate this fear and to release my expectations. Introduce uncomfortable.
As I worked on blog topics for this week (which I hope will all show the light of day), this one was the one that I thought I could do. My commitment for this week is to work hard to not fear putting myself out there. Step 1: This blog post.
One of the cutest things my little Matthew is saying right now is “My Love You.” At almost 2 1/2, he has so many new words coming daily but this phrase and the smile behind his eyes as he says it make me melt. Today when I was putting him down for nap, he leaned up to my ear and whispered it to me while nuzzling up for hugs and kisses. It makes me wonder when you truly begin to understand love. I could swear to you that Matthew understands. But, how? and what?
I think what he understands is the connection and unconditional emotion that we share. It is authentic, simple, unassuming and not influenced by the world. The more that I think about this love I have for my kids, the more remarkable it is. I try to tell them and show them as much as I can….through my words, and my supportive action, discipline if needed, and sneaking hugs and kisses as much as possible.
Matthew is the sweetest of little guys. His sister Katharine was (and is) my first experience at truly unconditional parental love. “My Love You” little ones.