Spoiler: I am not pregnant nor am I making any kind of announcement.
These are the tests that proved our daughter was on her way.
And I knew when we heard “It’s a girl!” and the moments that followed that I had just given birth to the best parts of myself.
This little whisper of love. The beauty in innocence formed. She was our miracle.
This morning in church she sat with us, which is half normal and half coincidental. We listened to our pastor teach to us about the words we speak – and their power over others, ourselves … and in God.
It’s been a long time since I’ve talked openly about this kind of thing because, to be completely honest, I’ve been struggling.
But words get me. Talking about how words work – that speaks to me. And it was really nice to feel connected this morning, but it gets better.
Later on this evening I sat down with my daughter and asked her what she thought of this morning. She was pretty interactive throughout the service, raising her hand and announcing that SHE WAS A KID IN THE AUDIENCE when asked. She was her, which is always amazing.
Our pastor touched on the death in words – and how we probably all have a pinpointed moment in our lives when we could tell you when negativity was spoken to us … that we ended up believing. Or struggling with. Or carrying around for the rest of our lives.
I have many of those moments, from others, myself … strangers, I carry daily. I beat myself up and I measure myself against the apparent failure in the statements meant to cut me. Problem is, I’m still bleeding.
I asked my daughter if she had any of those moments in her life, knowing full well I probably have been one of the mouths in the lineup of her little life.
Ashamed and angry for knowing this before asking and hurt when she confirmed it, not for myself -but because I know the power of a parents words on your life. Healing and yet at times they’re a life sentence to the person you’ll never be.
She got serious and completely, beautifully honest and said to me: I try to tell you but you won’t listen; you have to be careful with words because they’re just like tooth paste – when you say them, you can’t put them back.
Broken. I probably carry around more of the words I’ve ill-spoken to my kids in frustration, anger, impatience than they do but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still carrying them, too.
Parenting is. not. easy. Or cute or always fun. It’s not a hobby, it’s not something I’ll do for just today. It’s forever. It is a dedication. It is selflessness to it’s core. It’s never about you, always about them. It’s what you are for the rest of your life. It’s often painful and unrewarding. It can break relationships – even the ones it fosters and it can be a death of it’s own right.
But it’s sacred and honorable. It’s beautiful in all the wrong places. It’s raw. It’s human. It’s viral, at times.
At the end of it all, the memories I know I carry are words. Moments. Phrases.
The most impactful life moments have a picture and a smell but more-so they have a sentence spoken into me. Over me. For me. By my parents, the teachers I trusted, friends who truly loved me (some who never did) and the trail and error of finding out what love really was and is.
It’s a Charge to become a parent and I’m amazingly blessed to be one to this girl. This girl who, against all odds, loves me for me … all of me, even the rotten, crabby and sometimes mean-spoken me. She adores it.
I’m not worth even that but I’ll go forward trying to meet the mark.