Ablaze

I had a rather large and disappointing blow dealt to me today. No, it’s not my health or anything to do with my kids. The fact that I even have to add that disclaimer shows me that there are way more important things in life than being disappointed about something.
Still, I felt the sting of tears in my eyes. My heart did ache. I was angry. I was sad. I allowed myself those few moments (okay, hours) of self pity.
We all have those magical things that make us who we are. We have personality traits that people like or hate or like to hate. We have our own personal ideas of what our lives should be and how we picture them working out. Once we get that vision in our mind, we set out on our path. Depending on who we are and what circumstances surround us, we either find some deviation of that path or blaze a new trail.
I have always been a firm believer in staying true to your dreams. There have been plenty of opportunities for change. Even more opportunities to conform or simply survive. The only way I know how to describe my feelings is to say that I have worked my whole adult life at trying to fan some embers of a fire. The embers smolder and smoke. I would use one of those old school fans you see people in colonial days keep on their fireplace hearth. I would fan the embers of my dreams. At times, I would see the fire ablaze. It would have so much heat radiating from it that it would take my breath away. At other points, there would be no sign of those amber streaks of light, only the remnants of what was once a hot, heaping pile of fire. But, there underneath all that coldness, in the depths of that darkness of nothing, there were the tiny stems of a sparking light. They may have been unseen to anyone who passed by the black and burnt woodpile, but they were there. They were there all along.
That’s how I feel about keeping my dreams alive. I feel like I try. I feel like I push. I can hustle. Where are the rewards? Where is my happy ending or my happy beginning for that matter?
Today was just a setback. I feed myself that line more often than I care to admit. So, here I am, still sitting at square one. I have nothing left to do but give it up to God. I will keep praying that I find my way. I will not lose faith in my cold, hidden dreams. I will not be selfish. I will not fall victim to self doubt and self pity. That’s what the enemy wishes me to do. He wishes me to fail. He wishes me to give up. My dreams are my dreams. Nobody can take them from me, not until I let them.

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Little White Speck

It’s quiet now. There are no televisions on at our house. I can hear the crickets outside the bedroom window. My newborn is asleep on my chest, my two year old is asleep in his crib. I find the quiet to be a magical fantasy. It lures me to leave it alone. It doesn’t want me to move. It doesn’t want anything to change.
I have read a million things these last two and a half weeks. Everything from parenting newsletters in my inbox to blog posts I find during a 2:00 a.m. feeding session on Pinterest. One post that really caught my attention in particular was about a woman who followed a blog. In this blog, the writer was a mother and wife. She posted all these awesome pictures and entries that made her life seem perfect. She had the perfect kid who never cried in any pictures. She had the perfect husband who never complained and was always the doting dad. She cooked perfect meals. Her life was amazing. The blog I was reading was written by a new mother. She had followed this woman and her “perfect life” and had been comparing her life to the things this woman was describing. It took the realistic mother only a short while to figure out this other blogger was a phony. Realistic mother went back and looked at everything she had been posting herself. She showed a few examples of pictures she had put with some of her entries. The first 10 pictures she took were never the pictures that she used. One example was a picture of her husband and daughter. The picture she used showed a smiling dad and a smiling child with their arms wrapped around each other. It showed them looking undeniably cute and affectionate. Then, she showed the pictures she took before the one she used. The kid was not happy. She was not smiling. The dad looked uninterested in being in the picture. This whole thing really made me laugh. We are all so worried about what we look like to the world that we “fake it till we make it.”
I am a mother of two wonderful boys. I love them with all of my heart. That is the truth. The rest of the truth is that they both poop a lot. I change a lot of diapers and it’s not pretty. I have a 2 year old who tells me no. I have to “smack his booty.” He won’t always take a nap. He gets toys out and won’t put them back when he is asked or told. He says “mine” all the time. He cries when he knows it’s time for bed. I have a 2 1/2 week old baby. He eats, sleeps, poops and repeats. He is hungry all the time. My nipples feel like they will fall off. His butt makes sounds that should only come from a grown man. I get peed on at least once a day. I know all the words to Dora’s songs. I had to take television away from my child because I think he is mildly addicted. My husband works away during the week. He gets to have time to himself. He told me today that I was “snippy” with him. My mother is here helping me right now because I can’t physically take care of my two children, cook and clean my house. These are all my truths. Is it embarrassing to put it all out there like that? Heck yes. Do I think it makes me look like any less of a person or mother? Heck no. My life is by no means perfect. There are daily struggles. I win some battles and I lose some brain cells. At the end of the day, I would rather I was honest with myself and anyone who cares to know about me. I don’t have it all together. No amount of edited pictures or fancy writing skills will ever be able to cover up that truth. I love my kids. I love my husband. I appreciate my friends and family for their help and support.
If I have learned one thing from the post I read about “perfect mom,” it’s that she doesn’t really exist.
I stole this quote from one of my all time favorite movies and it seems to go well here, “The funny thing about that little white speck on the top of chicken shit. That little white speck is chicken shit too.”

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