(Dear blog reader…I apologize for the technical difficulties that have taken you away from this blog for the last month. I am slowly trying to recover all of my beloved blog posts that have been sucked into cyberspace. The archives will be sparse for now but know that I will slowly add past posts from the last 4 years this blog has been up and running. Thank you for your continued support and patience!)
Onward and upward. A new year. A blank slate. This blog is literally and unintentionally a blank slate.
I remember our first new year’s eve as a family of five…I had a 2 month old, 2, 4, 6, and 11 year old.
I was always looking ahead during those early years. The years of the littles on me, the littles around me. Littles, littles, everywhere. Having one nursing, one cuddling, one touching, one leaning, one smelling. I was always looking ahead.
Looking ahead to the days of separation and independence (for the kids and me). Looking ahead to the day when I had only one child in a diaper…I couldn’t even see the day of no diapers in sight. Looking ahead to the days when I had my body back all to myself – no more nursing, no carrying a baby next to my body. Looking ahead to the day I could go out to dinner with my husband again. Looking ahead to the day I could string more than a few hours of sleep. Looking ahead to the day I wasn’t drowning in the day-to-day. Looking ahead to the day I could entertain the possibility of looking in the mirror and seeing someone other than a mother reflected back at me.
Always always looking ahead.
As Ever-Patient and I spend our 20th New Year’s eve together, we look back. We look back at those year-ends before children, and those with children. We look back at the years in cumulative and wonder how we got here, how after all the obstacles, trials, curveballs, we are HERE. We look back to all those intentions and resolutions we set for the new year and laugh at our lofty ideals and feeble attempts; yet we applaud all the failures and successes in the same breath. We look back at how we keep starting over again, hoping to be better parents, spouses, and people. We look back at when our children needed us more for physical needs and we look ahead as we see them look to us more for emotional guidance.
This is the one time of year I find myself dizzy from looking both ways, as if I’m about to cross a busy street. The past and future whizzing by going in opposite directions. What is on the other side? Where am I trying to go? The present moment. Gratitude for what was, what is, and what will be. Today I will spend my time trying to cross. I will spend my day and night looking back and looking ahead.
I will look back and say goodbye to a year of the expected and the unexpected – a year of family trips, another year of homeschooling, a year of settling in as an older and more active family of 5.
I will look ahead to new beginnings for myself and for my family. I will embark on a new project called Sense of Story with other mamas and put myself out there as a writer. Eek. I am a writer with no formal training as one but I have written all my life. I have kept journals and love letters never to be opened. I have stopped and started stories to be told to no one. I have written the same lines over and over again. I am a writer because I have stories to tell and I want to record it. I want to leave it out there to be read and to be agreed and disagreed with. I want to leave a piece of me in words.
My words are infused with my experiences as a mother of many children; my experiences as a wife to a man I have watched and loved since we were adolescents; my experiences as a daughter to immigrants and a single mother and then as a part of a blended family; my experiences as a homeschooler trying to navigate what it means to teach my children; my experiences as a minority woman living and growing up in an urban area; my experiences as a young mother forced to grow up and make impossible choices; and my experiences as a human being just trying to be heard.
Here, on my personal blog, I will document our day-to-day – our family adventures along with all the tomfoolery and shenanigans. This inspired me to write publicly in the first place. Oh the stories I wanted to remember, what I wanted my kids to remember. At Sense of Story, I will be stretching my writing muscles a bit more. This is a place where I am more than just a homeschooling mom of 5. This is a place I can call home and share more of me. This is a place where I can be inspired by others. This is where my many voices can converse, question, speak, shout, whisper, and call to the heavens.
Looking ahead. Oh 2014, what do you have to say to me?
I know it’s a little late in the game and I am a day late for this prompt but I am writing along with writealm: