Yesterday, I ran across my son's infant cap hat that he wore home from the hospital. I stood there in front of the closet, staring at this tiny thing in the palm of my hand and took a deep breath. It's all gone so fast. It feels like a week ago when we brought him home and we became parents.
I brushed my hand across the cap, thinking about the day my son and daughter were born. I may have brought my children into this world, but they brought life into me. Through teaching them and nurturing them, I accidently nurtured myself. I discovered who I was and what I needed, because of them. I still remember the day at the park when my son was afraid to walk over the bridge.
"Go on, it's okay. Don't be afraid. You can do it." Over and over again I encouraged him to walk to the other side. He looked up at me, trusting me. I looked into his eyes and realized if I was going to be the best mother I could be, I better start walking towards my fears. I better stop running.
After I put him down for his nap, I dug through my file cabinet and pulled out all the writing I had done since I was eight years old. Spirals, legal pads, plain white sheets of paper torn in half. Cocktail napkins. It was time I stopped being scared. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a writer so badly that I was terrified of it. I could handle failing at being an administrative assistant, or dental assistant, or waitress or Mary Kay consultant. But what if I failed at doing what means the most to me? What if I failed at doing what God put me on the earth to do? What then? And the biggest question of all hit me in the gut: What will happen to me if I never try? I would never want my kids to live a life not even trying at what they're passionate about.
My kids don't know it, but every day I thank them as they walk onto the school bus and I head towards my desk, without fear, with only hope and determination to be the best I can be. I write for me, for my future readers, for the audience I've been writing to since I was eight. Someday I will tell my kids how they helped me find a part of myself that I buried at some point along the way. Someday I will explain to them how their needing me, challenging me, and forcing me to be the best I can be, they brought me to where I am today, and where I'll go tomorrow.