Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reflections on Motherhood

In a little over an hour from now, I will have been a mother for six years.

There are so many emotions that come with that sentence. Nostalgia. Disbelief. Love. Relief.

Yes, relief.

I've survived this journey for six years, so far. There were times I wasn't sure I would make it to this point. Times when I was ready to give up. A time when I very nearly walked out of the lives of my tiny son and my husband, convinced that everyone would be better off if I simply lived somewhere else. My body and my brain have attacked themselves, repeatedly, trying to convince me that this motherhood thing just isn't for me.  Some days, I cried and wished the years would fly by so that I could maybe, someday, enjoy motherhood.

I've gotten my wish.

These six years have flown, faster than I could have ever believed. And there are days that my eyes well up with tears, realizing that my tiny baby who once fit in the crook of my arm is gone forever. Days when I look at pictures of his first smiles, his first sword fight, his round toddler face that is now but a memory, and wish for a moment, I could snuggle that tiny boy again.

But I wouldn't go back.

Because those years were hard. Those pictures of a smiling child also remind me of the struggles I faced every single day just to stay afloat. Of the anxiety that brought me to my knees, and the depression that then left me ... empty.

No, I would never go back to that time, because I have worked so hard to change the person I was then into the person I am now.  And there is no way to relive the good without also reliving the ugly.

Oh, how I miss his chubby fists, with the dimples in the knuckles! And the way his little body used to grow suddenly heavy as he finally gave into sleep. The way he could curl up on my chest, and fit so neatly, because he was made to fit there.

But, now, I have it even better.

Now, I have his long, gangly legs, racing me to the car. Now, I have jokes whose punchlines are hilarious if only for their absurdity. Now, I have teaching him to read, and delighting with him every time he can write my name. I have daily pictures of a stick-person me next to a heart, so that I remember he loves me, even when he's at school all day. I still have fierce hugs, and tickle fights, and cuddles on the couch. And I still have the best little boy in the entire world.

The difference is that now I can enjoy him, as he is today.

So, if I could make a wish now, as I did back then, it would be this:

Dear God, please, please slow the time now.  I needed it to fly by before, but now . . .

Now, I want to enjoy being this boy's mother.

Monday, September 28, 2015

What's with the Blog Name?

In case anyone was wondering...

My favorite Disney movie is Lion King, but the Disney character I've always identified with is Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

She's a book worm, like me, who always felt like an outsider in her "provincial town". She is brave, but shy. Stubborn, yet kind.  And she is a misfit amongst the townspeople.  Much as I was as a little girl. Much as I still am among most of society (though I've found my niches where I fit in nicely).

Just before Belle discovers her father has gone missing, she sings a reprise of the opening song:

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell.
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned."

Every single time I'm feeling lonely or particularly outside of the "normal", this snippet of song plays through my head. I regularly find myself singing it without realizing it. Because, in a lot of ways, that is exactly what I want out of my life.

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere.

It may be that my adventure is in parenting, and Renaissance Festival, and simply living out this wonderful life I've chosen. 

But I want more than that, too.

I want to leave a mark. I want to travel. I want to try new things. I want to soak up this big, big world, and remember all of it.

And I'm not sure I'll ever be satisfied.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Here I Am

Sometimes, I feel as though I've disappeared.

Mostly, though, I've just been busy.

And I've definitely outgrown that old blog, with the title that drips with self-doubt.

That's one reason I haven't written in a very long time. It's hard to write under a title that is so self-deprecating. A title that reminds me of every insecurity I have. A title that limits me to motherhood and my self-consciousness therein.

I am a mother, yes.  And a damn good one.

I am also a woman. A wife. An actress. An old soul trying to find my place and my purpose in this big, wide world. I am filled with anxiety, but I trust in the goodness of people. I am an introvert, but I love the company of people. I am cautious by nature, but I crave adventure. I want to take root, and I want to fly away, all at the same time.

I am a million paradoxes, and none of them can be captured in so confining a title as that old blog.

So, here I am, in this new place, with plenty of room to stretch out and write about whatever comes to mind. I'm sure the children will feature heavily - they are, of course, a major part of my life. But they are not the entirety of my life, and so they will not be the only thing I write about.

Welcome to my Great Wide Somewhere. Let's explore it together.