Last night I found myself talking on the phone. We had been trying to get ahold of each other for a few days and I was grateful she called. I know her, but not as well as I would like. She is the sister of some very good friends and her mom helped me acquire my lovely wedding flowers years ago. The boys were finishing their homework and Dave was making himself something to eat. We had already eaten, or, so I thought. I looked over and saw both boys with spoons in hand, slurping and chomping away.
“Cereal? You already had dinner!”
Ah, the ever-popular, “Dad said.”
I cautioned them not to go overboard and left the room. As we continued talking and I kept explaining, something occurred to both of us and then she said, “Well, then it was all worth it!” Chills ran up and down my arms. I like it when these moments happen.
I had been talking to her about design and potentially helping me re-design my blog. I realize I am a little behind. I shared with her my history. Things like, “why did I start blogging in the first place?” and “why I want to write.”
Filling her in, I said, “I studied English in College with an emphasis in Creative Writing. I was over the moon when I was invited to take Masters Creative Writing Classes as a Sophomore. I love writing. I journaled as a girl and eventually realized that I was a narrative writer. In college Slice-of-Life and minimalistic writing styles were very popular. I even tried and had some success with poetry. Don’t ever get me to write a screenplay. I tried. They are not easy!”
She asked some more questions, listened, and to help her understand the look and feel I was going for, I continued, “It is kind of funny. If the Internet and blogging never happened, I see myself working for a magazine or publishing books. I wrote a lot in my former carrer as an Internet Marketing Manager, (back when the large company where I worked thought the Internet was just a fad). I love travel. I mean, I really love travel! My blog only happened because Dave, our baby boys and I were traveling all over the United States in a VW Eurovan Camper. We wanted our families to have a place they could go, see updates and mostly know that we were still alive.”
“I remember that. I remember reading your blog way back when.”
“I remember you reading. I am glad you did. The whole Mommy Blogging thing was something I fell into. I was a Mommy of two poopy-diaper filled kids and of course because I was neck deep in breast feeding, potty training and time-outs, I fit right into that space.”
And then thoughtfully she told me that she didn’t really see me so much as a Mommy Blogger. “You are a writer. That is your craft. People can learn from what you know.”
“Wow! I don’t know if I have ever looked at it that way.”
I liked hearing what she had to say. There is nothing wrong with Mommy Bloggers. In fact, I wish I was a better one. I personally think Mommy Bloggers rule the world, or at least, the consumer buying market. When I came back to blogging I kept trying to force myself back in the Mommy Blog space. There are so many cool, interesting and super talented Moms out there. They craft, they Martha Stewart, they are hilarious, they know how to get their kids to sleep through the night and then without judgement, they tell the rest of us how. My kids are older. I no longer have cute poop stories and I have pretty much given up on my fertility altogether. I still hate women who get pregnant easily and am totally insensitive to their birth stories. I know. I am terrible! With all things motherhood I had to let go and I had to move forward. I have struggled, I mean, selfishly struggled. I am not sure if that is ok. I have openly talked about my worries and failings. Many people having openly supported me saying things like, “Beth, do what you love!” and another friend simply stated, “I have no answers, only support. I’ll keep reading as long as you write.”
I was grateful. I am grateful. Yet, I still felt uneasy and unresolved. I explained, “I was really going places before I left blogging (or so I thought). I was writing for other outlets, contacted by sponsors and making really awesome connections. I was heading in the direction of making a career out of something I loved. Then I miscarried, freaked out and walked away. Coming back, the landscape has completely changed and I am no one.”
That is when my friend said something I find myself saying to others, “There are no accidents!”
I agree. There are no accidents! I often word it this way, “Your choices take you to where you need to be.”
Our conversation and my own thoughts drifted to forgiving myself, forgiving others, to stop trying to be something I am not, to stop worrying about things I cannot control, to plant my feet forward, to start moving and to not look back. When I have insecure moments, all of my confidence and brilliant wisdom disappear and I GO BLIND! In one self-doubting moment I will lose the ability to see where my choices have taken me.
This is big!
The words came from somewhere and without much thought I said, “Had I not left blogging, KYLE WOULD BE BLIND. No. Seriously. He would be blind. Had my own career really taken off or if I still had been caught up in the same issues, I would not have taken the time to get myself well. If I had not taken the time to heal, I would not have been in the place where I could help Kyle when he really did need me most. Kyle needed me, Eli needed me and so did Dave.”
And then she said it, “Well, then it was all worth it!”
Without hesitation I responded, “ABSOLUTELY!’
Blindness is big. See, Kyle loves and devours at least one book a week. Driving home from the bus stop today the first thing out of Kyle’s mouth was, “Mom, you know My Reading Class?”
“Well, I have already read over 100 hours this semester.”
“How much do you have to read to pass the class?”
“Um, what is nine times two (kid still refuses to learn his multiplication tables)? Oh, eighteen. That’s right. You need eighteen hours to pass.”
Currently Kyle is reading while I type. Kyle reads during breakfast, in the car and would read himself to sleep every single night if we let him. I cannot imagine what would happen if Kyle could not see, let alone read.
When Kyle was in the hospital and fighting for his life, I was present and without the promise of reward or even another baby (which I really wanted), long before Stevens-Johnson Syndrome came into our life, I chose to get help. I knew that all this healing work had a purpose. I just didn’t know what. It was weird and as I sat and watched my suffering boy, it was as if someone was sitting next to me saying, “Beth, you made it all about you, you always tried to know why. You finally put your family first. It was always easier to hide behind your camera, personal drama or even your blog. Instead, you decided to step up and see. Now look. You are here for Kyle. You have space to remember Eli and you can think clearly. You can think clearly when you are needed most.”
Still to this moment, I am sorry for the days I let those old insecurities seep in, I slip and then forget all I have. I see that maybe I don’t always get what I want, I do, however, often get what I need. And always standing by my side are Dave, the boys, my loved ones and good friends. For that, I am grateful.
No amount of money, fame or power is worth Kyle losing his eyesight. No amount of anything is worth Kyle losing his life. No amount of anything is worth me NOT noticing when Eli is feeling sad, scared or neglected. I am grateful, that without knowing and with a lot of work pointing my feet forward, I was able to see. Seriously, our choices, good and super bad, do take us where we need to be.