The moment my daughter was born, I remember being shocked — not by her miraculous birth (because it had been a ridiculously long and difficult labor and delivery — kind of a miracle I made it through) but because I knew in that very second that I would walk in front of a moving train for this child, just to protect her. There was no question in my mind.
When we were expecting my second child, I didn’t know if I could love so completely again. Where would all that love come from when my first-born owned all of it? But the minute our second child was born, I had that same, exact epiphany: there was nothing I wouldn’t do for this child, too.
And just like that, a mama bear was born.
Of course, this mama bear also wanted her children to be self-reliant, independent, creative people, so I wasn’t going to remove challenge from their lives. But they taught me the fine line between loving in a way that would create dependence and loving so unconditionally and completely that they would grow into amazing adults.
The road hasn’t been easy; holding the line with terrifically independent and crafty teenagers wasn’t a picnic — and believe me, I faltered plenty — but I learned so much about love from these two kids. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
For the rest of the month, as I’ve done in years past, I’ve made a promise to myself that I will carve out time to count my blessings each day as we count down to Thanksgiving. This practice centers me and it creates room to breathe. While it doesn’t mean that there won’t be heartache or tough times, it means that I will try to recognize that life isn’t all one thing or the other; it is all of it. I can choose where to point my viewfinder, where to focus.
Thanks for joining me on this little gratitude journey. What are you grateful for today, in this moment?