I am at the library, watching a mom hold a three-month-old baby boy as he sleeps the afternoon away, and I can hardly remember a time when you were so small. Tiny and totally dependent. Just this morning, you put on your cutest 4T outfit with the glittery kitty on the shirt, and the pants were about an inch too short. It seems like you grew into a giant overnight, the minutes ticking away while life stretched your legs.
You are so aware of the world and soak up everything new. Things I didn’t know you heard grown-ups discussing now become questions. “But why?” is something I hear a lot from you these days, questioning many of the instructions I give you and things around us.
You notice the difference now between the things I am able to do, and the things I am not. “But how will you get up those stairs, Momma?”
When you were a baby, I wasn’t sure how we were going to navigate explaining to you my injury, my wheelchair, what I need help with and what I don’t. Really, I was afraid that I would explain it the wrong way and you would be confused. I have never carved out a time to tell you these things like I thought I would have to, so we take them as they come. Now I know, when you have a question, you will ask, and I will answer as simply and best as I can.
Once in a casual conversation, I mentioned walking, and you looked at me in surprise and exclaimed “MOM, you could WALK?” You will never have the privilege of seeing me walk like I did, but most kids don’t have the unique experience of having a mother with a disability either. It has taught you empathy and compassion, and I hope that you can carry that to other kids your age. You teach them, like I try to teach you.
Maybe I am being emotional because you will be having a birthday soon, and I just don’t know how the time has gone by so quickly that we are planning a party for the fourth time. It will be unicorns this year because you are very opinionated about the things you like and dislike these days.
I love you,
forever and ever,
It’s April 1st, and the #100DayProject is floating around the internet everywhere, especially on my favorite platform, Instagram. So many of the lovely ladies I follow are posting about what they will be painting or drawing or sewing or creating during their 100 day Project, which officially kicks off on Tuesday, April 3rd.
And of course, my mind kicked into overdrive when I first saw that first post. Oh, my gosh. What am I going to do for my project? What can I sustain for 100 days? What project won’t bore me out of my skull? I better get an idea right now because this starts this week, and I want to have a plan!
Then I stopped myself.
Even thinking about this project was stressing me out! I fast forwarded in my mind a few weeks to when my life would be so busy with portrait sessions and warm-weather activities that I wouldn’t even have a place in my days for anything extra, and I said “no.” I said “no” to making myself to put content out every day that wouldn’t be something that would feel enjoyable, but more like homework that I had been forced into for the sake of contributing to a hashtag project. I said “no” to taking time away from my daughter and the other things that matter. I said “no” to not relaxing, which is something that I have really been working on for myself.
As a result of my little epiphany that saying yes to this project would actually be detrimental to me, I have unfollowed the hashtag and don’t plan on purposely searching for it. I have scaled that part of my social media down to give me some type of quiet.
So to the others like me, who constantly feel like they might miss out (total FOMO sometimes happens here), it is really okay to skip out on the trends and popular hashtags that exist online. It is okay to say no to things that you know in your heart will NOT fill you up in any way other than check a box of “I did that.” It is okay to not be involved in every activity or idea out there.
So many times, we don’t think through the entirely of a project or a committment that we take on. I have been so guilty of this so many times (and continue to struggle with it), and then it becomes something that we feel obligated to do. We continue out of that obligation, and then it is just draining.
So here’s a note to self: Don’t let yourself say “yes” to something that in the end, you know you should have said “no” to.