Last winter I had someone send me an email. I won't post it in its entirety, but it went a little something like this:
"Thank god you finally complained. I have often considered not reading your blog anymore, you just don't seem real the way you write. The post you wrote the other day let me see that you aren't so perfect."
After I got that email I struggled, what was safe to write? Was I really being disingenuous? I didn't think so, but I was uncharacteristically impacted, rocked to my core really, to think that this space that I use to chronicle my life with with my girls would be questioned. It is my gateway to these years that are already becoming a blur, but these lines from a virtual stranger made me question everything. I took to the keyboard time and again, I tried to write, but the "real" that the person seemed to want felt false, but the words that came naturally trembled, vulnerable to the doubt that weighed me down. I leaned on a few special people, that I trust to give it to me straight.
Eventually I shook it off, but there have been other factors that have lapped at the edges of this space; I've not been plagued with trolls, but there are readers that come for reasons that bother me, making me feel I have to choose my words carefully.
Can I say that? Will she interpret that wrong?
In all honesty she, and others like her, are not worth the time I've just given them, but just the same, they have touched this place. Our place. Which leads me to the purpose of this post. I am going to reclaim my voice. 2009 will not be filled with superficial or unattainable goals, instead I am going to keep doing everything I have been doing, but give myself license to do everything in new ways.
I am going to write when I want and how I want. I may write a story about how Avery gleefully names her poop and bids it a boisterous farewell each time she goes to the bathroom. This may only ever make one person laugh, but that's ok. I will write 800 words about a middle of the night nursing because it moves me. I'll write about getting hurt or some little thing that makes me smile.
See, what I am beginning to figure out is our life is really what we make of it. It's the way we choose to walk each day, the people we choose to share the journey with and the words and light we use to preserve the memories. My gift to myself and to my family will be to strip away all the things that have taken me from the path I am meant to walk. I am exactly who you find here and more. I am reverent about being a mom, I love nursing babies and massaging shampoo into long curls. I get tired and frustrated like everyone else, but the way I choose to narrate my life is heavy on the blessings, shining the light strongest on the love, joy and wonder.
Sitting here smiling, I know that the sounds coming from upstairs could be described as caterwauling, but if I creep up the stairs there will actually be a magnificent orchestration of princess and stuffed animal bantering, a room some might think of as being in disarray will actually be the stage for battles, wedding and theatre watching. There is just so much magic to see and be a part of, my 2009 and every year after is going to be devoted to living within it.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a castle to build and some princesses to kiss.