Monthly Archives: June 2015

my yesterday, your tomorrow

crying babyI see you there, new mama, with that worn-out, weary look and I want to whisper to you: I’ve been there. And the moment you are in is terrible and beautiful and wonderful and exhausting. But it gets better. It gets better and better. Those little babies grow into toddlers that will try your patience in ways you never knew were possible, but you will love them even more fiercely than you do now. And those toddlers grow into preschoolers with their maddening I-do-its and unexplainable tantrums. And you will be weary of the whining, but you will love them even more fiercely than you did when they were babies or toddlers. And then those preschoolers slowly and suddenly blossom into kids. Real kids who can have a conversation with you and come up with jokes that actually make sense. Sometimes they’re even funny. You’ll have weird conversations when their uninhibited mind rushes and gushes with ideas that you know probably won’t work, but you let them dream anyway…because you never know, right? And they get bigger and bigger and your love for them grows as they grow and you think your love for them is as big as it can get and yet it keeps stretching the limits of your heart so much that sometimes it crushes your lungs and you just.can’t.breathe.

I see you there, new mama, and I want to tell you these things. And as much as you try to listen and understand, you won’t be able to. But you’ll hear the words and file them away and maybe one day you’ll find yourself dragging your screaming preschooler through the bookstore, trying your best to balance discipline and total embarrassment and you’ll remember. It gets better. And this will pass. And some will tell you that you’ll miss it one day, and you know what? You may or you may not. And that’s okay. (I, for one, don’t miss those early days where everyone was tired and screaming…myself included). But either way, I can tell you that you both make it through and you both love each other more today than you did yesterday.

And, new mama, I want to tell you that I don’t know it all. Not even close. And I, too, am learning from those who have travelled these roads before us. Those mamas who have pulled and pushed and dragged and cuddled and loved and lived these years where you and I currently have our feet firmly planted. And they made it. Their beautiful, beautiful babies are now beautiful, beautiful adults and they’re telling us their story so that we can hear it from farther down the road and they’re shouting and cheering and praying us on, just as you will do for others.

Depending on the day, the moment, you may not be able to hear me over the crying, the screaming, the tears. Or maybe you can’t hear me because you are cradling that glorious piece of your heart in your arms and the you feel your blood course through your veins and hers and every ounce of both of you beats as one and there is nothing in the world but the two of you. Maybe you can’t hear me, but the words are there, waiting for you to catch them. Hundreds of thousands of mothers have prayed the same prayers and uttered the same thanksgivings. Listen, and you will hear. When you need it most, it’ll be here; a host of hopes and dreams and plans and promises and wisdom. It’s here, waiting on you. You’ve got this, mama. I promise you do.


There are times (many times, actually) when our life begins to barrel downhill with nothing to slow us down. We hit bumps here and there, of course, but we manage. I say we, but it’s really more like he. I’m a catastrophist, full of “what if”s and “oh, no”s. He’s much more reasonable and fairly unflappable. He takes things in stride and keeps on going. In the past month, the children and I have been on two week-long adventures without him – once to the beach, once to the mountains. And he? He’s been back home working hard. When we got home after our last trip, I had a few opportunities pop up that we a really good fit for me, and he insisted I go and leave the children with him. And this past weekend, when he had a rare weekend off, he spent the entire weekend wrangling children in the heat and cleaning up the giant mess I made. He also sent me off with my mini-me for a 2.5-hour painting class.

Have I ever told y’all how fortunate I am? And how grateful. Oh, so very grateful. He tolerates my wildest whims and pushes me to explore more of the things that fill my heart with happiness. He helps me when I’m struggling, and picks up where I leave off. He works hard and makes so many sacrifices – both small and large – for me, for us. If you ask him, he’ll say that he’s nothing special, just an ordinary ol’ guy. He’ll tell you that he’s just doing what needs to be done. But I promise you that he’s anything but ordinary.

I can’t believe that for 14 years, he’s been so perfectly un-ordinary. That for 14 years, he’s listened to my ramblings and helped me flesh out the craziest of ideas. That for 14 years, he’s always been there, always loved me. And that he has continually put family first and given us all a steady place to come back to when life gets a little helter-skelter.

I love you, Marsh. Here’s to 114 more chaotic and happy years.