Thursday, October 11, 2012

overwhelmed .... a letter to myself (and my girls)

Molly, it was a day full of fear. Fear for me, I was in serious danger of having a stroke or a seizure because my blood pressure was so high. When the nurse took those med bags loose from the pump and simply squeezed those life saving chemicals into me, I looked at your Dad and said "it wasn't supposed to be like this." Fear for you - if my body failed us - would you be alright? 

Abby, your day was different, but it came with its own set of fears. I had not known I was pregnant with you and I continued with those chemicals designed to keep this very thing from happening. Would you be ok - had I inadvertantly caused any kind of problem for you?

Then - in a rush of activity and pain and hard work and struggle - there you each were. Being held up and checked and wrapped and placed in my arms. I could feel my heart beating against each of you and in that moment, you were not just placed in my arms, you were placed into my heart. And each of you was perfect. Absolutely perfect. 

With you, Molly, they wheeled me out of the hospital doors, we tucked you in the car seat, and away we went. We drove up to the light at Atlanta Highway and the fear gripped me again. Holy Crap, I have no idea what to do. OVERWHELMED But one day (sometimes even one second) at a time, we figured it out. 

When we added you, Abby, to the mix, that fear was not as crippling. You got the benefits of a much more relaxed early few years. Wait, no, as you grew, I soon realized that much of what was perfect for Molly, did not work for you. Again, OVERWHELMED, now I was having to learn two ways to parent. But again, one day (sometimes even one second) at a time, we figured it out. 

Days, months, years. Looking back now, they flashed by. 

I cannot tell you how many nights, I quietly slipped into your room, watching you sleep. (Yes, Abby, creepy stalker moment there) Standing there, praying that every thing I did, said, tried, lived out, was encouraging and effective in helping you grow into young women. I would soak in the details of each of you. The hair falling across your face. Abby, you sleep all balled up. Molly, you tend to sprawl a little more. As I would stand there, the enormous responsiblity of being your mother was OVERWHELMING. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Then there was the whole thing of sharing you with others. You developed friendships. Played sports. Went to school. You learned to drive. You two have no idea how hard those things cause a mama to pray. Would you make good choices? Would you be responsible? Leaders? Followers? Was compassion and caring an intimate part of who you are? Would you stand up for what you believe? Would you stand up for yourself? Had I given you the right tools and strengths to not just survive, but to also thrive, as you ventured out into the world? OVERWHELMED. And again, one challenge at a time, one adventure at a time, we figured it out again. 

Now, there are serious "others" in your lives. We are on the cusp of totally new adventures in our lives. Molly, you are about to marry your "one" and again I pray hard. I have so much I want to share with you about the work involved in relationship but it really comes to this... 

There is your idea of a partnership. There is Ben's idea of it. If you each refuse to stubbornly hold onto that part that screams "do it MY way", you will find this beautiful section in the middle that really is a partnership. It requires work, change, compromise, compassion, acceptance, and patience, to find that, but once you do, it really can be a beautiful thing. But lots of days it will be OVERWHELMING. And again, one day (sometimes even one second) at a time, you two figure it out. 

Abby, you are still growing and learning and defining who you are. You will meet your own OVERWHELMING times. Those times when you are just not sure what to do. But I can promise that one day (sometimes even one second) at a time, you will figure it out. 

I am OVERWHELMED by so much right now. Planning and executing this DIY wedding. How to pay for _______ (fill in the blank). What to do about _____ (fill in blank again). But once again, one day (sometimes even one second) at a time, I will figure it out. 

What can I promise you with this letter? You are not alone. God is with you in those times. Your Daddy and I are but a phone call or a quick trip away. You have made good choices in friends. There are numerous "old people" in your circles who can give you wise advice in those OVERWHELMING times. Use those resources. Leaning and needing to lean are not negatives. I need to learn to do more of this myself. 

Remember --- way up there at the beginning of this letter --- you two are in my heart. That will NEVER change. The love of sharing my heart with you two is more than OVERWHELMING, it is OVERFLOWING. And no matter what the heavy OVERWHELMING things are in our lives, one more time, then the next one more time, then the next one, again, one day (sometimes even one second) at a time, we will figure it out. Then we get to look back and see that  no matter how OVERWHELMED we were at a certain time in our lives. That heart we shared, the love we have been blessed with, OVERFLOWED in ways that helped minimize OVERWHELMING. 

So breathe baby girls, and simply know that you are loved well beyond OVERWHELMING. 

I love you both --- MOM

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