On my first, technical, Mother’s Day, I was about 36 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I remember feeling torn between celebrating and not, mostly because I was pretty anxious with my first pregnancy and didn’t want anything to jinx it. My all-knowing husband was aware of my feelings and when I made a passing comment to him as to why he didn’t get me a card he echoed my sentiments to the effect of “I figured you wouldn’t want to celebrate just yet.” To be fair, there was enough celebrating the pending arrival of the first grandchild.
It’s an interesting thing how I found myself this afternoon – slowly becoming more engrossed in watching the funeral of a woman I never met. Crying during her eulogies as if they were talking about a member of my own family.
I didn’t know much of Mrs. Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States, other than her politics and obvious ties to the presidency. I didn’t even realize she was ill until about a week ago when a friend made a passing comment on Facebook. Then I started to take notice.
Five and a half years ago, I was in the throes of wedding planning. I am a planner and organizer at heart, plus a crafter and doer and an “I can do it all myself-er.” That makes for a bit of a stressful time when putting everything together for your big day.
In one of the hundreds of blogs I visited during those planning days, I came across a bit of advice I have not yet forgotten. It’s changed my perspective and the way I handle new situations. It’s short, simple, easy to remember, and something I keep in my back pocket as a mantra that I’ve used handfuls of times since I first read it.
“You are not the first person to ______.”
A few days ago I was on Facebook (pre-Orlando, which is another post coming, but since I was waiting on this and now it’s basically completely out of the news I feel like I should just post it already) and I came across a suggested news article from Buzzfeed entitled “Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker.” Little did I know the rabbit hole this would lead me down.
It was a weekend day. I had just put my daughter down for a nap. My husband was working in the yard. I took a few minutes of quiet to sit down at the computer and peruse Facebook. Then I came across that letter.
If you haven’t read it, please do. If you have read it, you probably understand how I feel. It’s gut-wrenching. It hit too close to home. It made me think about so many emotional things in the few minutes it took to read it.
My grandma turned 90 last month, and you’d never know it. She’s as spritely as she was two decades ago, and she’s still working two days a week just for the heck of it. I call her every week or so to check in on her and my grandfather. In the last year since I’ve become a mom I have many questions to ask her as they raised six amazing children (one of whom is my father).
The last time I called her we talked about childbirth and baby stages. Here’s what I remember.
Alternate Title: “Adulting: Making Friends When You’re Over 30 and a SAHM Who Enjoys Being by Herself in the House With Her Child And Dog.”
It was July 4th. A big holiday weekend. And I was in my kitchen in tears. My husband was out of town, and I had searched for anything to do that was similar to what I had experienced growing up – a morning parade where they throw candy, have games, costumes, and the like. Or a fair close by. It seemed like this area in which I now live didn’t have those things – at least not within my (admittedly) somewhat narrow parameters.