Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

I can use them as a weapon, defending my opinions, my thoughts and even my personal space.  I can use them to keep you at bay or invite you in.  I can use them to hurt you, if I choose.

I can use them as armour, protecting myself from the hurtful world around me.  With a carefully placed “I’m fine” or a strategically used “everything is good” I can deflect the questions I’m not willing or ready to answer.  If I use them correctly, you won’t even be able to tell I’m lying.

I can hide behind them or stand on top of them.  I can wrap them around myself for comfort, or scream them from the top of my lungs in anger.

I can use them to express myself, or use them as an excuse not to.

Sometimes I feel them everywhere, in my head, behind my eyes, on the tip of my tongue and sometimes they get lost, hidden away from me, making me wander aimlessly while I wait for them to appear.

On more than one occasion I have regretted them, wished I could gather them out of the air and put them back in my pocket, never to be heard from again.  If only.  If only it were that easy.

It is not so much that I wished I hadn’t thought them, quite the opposite actually. I think we all think the things we are supposed to think, there is no crime in that.  The difficulties arise when things are spoken, written, shared, that really shouldn’t be.  It is not their fault for being thought, it is our fault for not having the wisdom to keep them to ourselves.

I have never doubted them, never doubted my ability to put them to good use.  Even when every other thought in my head is a question about what I’m doing, what I’m feeling, what I’m not doing, what I’m not feeling, this is never one of them.

I can use them to erase all of that, all of that noise in my head telling me all of the things I can’t and won’t and shouldn’t.  They take all that and put it away, at least for a little while.  Because there’s no room for all of that, not now, not when it’s time to focus on what is the most important.

Because it’s always the words.

My words.

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My baby turns nine today.

I know in my heart she will always be my baby but one of these days she’s probably going to get embarrassed and groan when I say it. For now I’m thankful that she usually just smiles shyly and gives me a hug.

It’s so cliche but I don’t really know where the time has gone. When I try and think of the distance between where we were then and where we are now, memories, snapshots of a hundred different moments come flooding through my mind, and yet I still can’t believe it’s been that long.

My thoughts are a jumble. I waiver between nostalgia and tears; fear and appreciation; wonder and anxiety, seemingly unable to focus on any one emotion for longer than a moment. Until I had kids I never realized I would be so emotionally invested in someone else’s birthday.

Especially hers.

Because the day she was born is also the day I went from being a woman to being a mom; went from caring about myself to thinking so completely about another person; went from the idea of what motherhood would be to the reality of what it really is.

The older she gets the easier and also the harder it gets. I feel like I have an ever-growing list of things I’m supposed to teach her and I’m barely scratching the surface. And as I watch her grow into an amazing person I marvel at how much she has learned all on her own, with no help from me at all.

It is becoming less about daily tasks and more about ‘the big picture’ and I realize that as time-consuming as they were, the daily tasks were actually easier. I know how to change diapers, give baths, brush hair, make snacks, pack backpacks. These tasks are nothing when faced with having to show her how to have self-esteem, how to dream, how to find inspiration, how to be her own person. How do I teach her things that I still struggle with myself?

But I am also slowly grasping the fact that as much as she is my student, I am also hers and she has already taught me so much. In nine short years she has shown me so much about myself and the world, so much more than I could ever imagine.

So on her birthday I will give her a hug and probably shed a tear for the baby she no longer is. But I will also stand back and marvel at what she is becoming and will feel proud, for just a moment, for the small part I have played. And I will be excited and thankful for everything she has brought to my life.

Happy Birthday, my baby.

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In the midst of the day-to-day, the errands, the lists, the form and function of everyday life, sometimes the feeling of being a mother gets lost.

I feel like a caretaker, a cook, a maid, a teacher, a warden, but often the feelings that I always assumed would be part and parcel of being a mother are missing.

I originally thought that everyday would have a moment in which I would swell up with love, pride, disbelief that these amazing creatures had come from me.

Eight and a half years of motherhood have made me realize that reality is somewhat different than the fantasy.

I have now settled into the rhythm of it, the regularity of it, not taking it for granted exactly; more like accepting it for what it is. Acceptance to the point that now when a “motherhood” moment does strike, it’s with such force and emotion that I am almost left winded by the power of it.

They come unpredictably. I can never really see one coming until it is already on top of me, like a wave pulling me under.

Sitting in a tiny, child-size chair participating in my first parent-teacher conference not as the child being discussed, but the adult who is expected to participate in the discussion.

Watching the look on my daughter’s face the first time she saw the Nutcracker ballet. Looking the other way and seeing my mother’s face as she watched her own daughter, now grown, and her granddaughter.

Yesterday, another one hit as I sat in a freezing cold arena, my hands laced around a cup of steaming, hot tea, watching my son play hockey for the first time.

He must have fallen down 50 times, some on his back, some on his stomach, some that looked like they would hurt, even with all of the equipment he was wearing. And each and every time he popped right back up and kept going, trying as hard as he could to keep up with the big kids.

He was doing it all on his own, it had nothing to do with me, and yet, on some level, it did.

Each time around the ice he would look up to find me in the stands and I would wave. I could barely see his face through the wire cage he wore but I could still make out his smile, ear to ear, with his mouth guard dangling from one lip.

The tears welled up in my eyes and the emotion squeezed my heart like a vice. I didn’t even care if anyone saw the tears. I didn’t even bother to wipe them away.

Because I know now that these moments don’t come very often and they last but a few seconds and then they are gone.

But there, in that rink, in that moment, I felt like a mother.

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