Waiting To Speak

Listening is truly a rare artform. Do you listen? Or do you just wait for your turn to speak? Do you listen to my eyes? Read my wrinkles? Hear my tones? Feel my cadence? Study my beats? Are you listening? Or are you just waiting for your turn to speak?

It’s probably time to toggle off the automatic rebuttal. Put your phone down and pick your head up. Push aside your “self”. Quit putting mental energy into forming a response. Meet and greet with grace. Listen with compassion and intention at every encounter in between. Look into my eyes, don’t just read my lips.

Be an active listener. It is only when you listen that you hear the cries that call us to change the world. Because when you take the time to LISTEN, you will see that someone having that intense and vulnerable experience of being heard, looks just like love.

We are only human. We are hard-wired to care about ourselves and to serve ourselves. It does not make us bad people, but it does mean we could probably use a little fine-tuning. And maybe we could all use just a little bit more of that love.

So I ask you to take it with you and think about it. Are you truly listening or are you just waiting for your turn to speak?

Started Rolling My Socks

I started rolling my socks. Or folding. Or matching. To each, their own.

It’s one of those things I thought that I would never do. Why marry them when I’m going to pull them apart in one second?

But, all the time I spent ruffling through my dark sock drawer, searching for a matching pair would get me all sweaty.

I would huff until I found the right pair and don’t even get me started on what it’s like to search for the little slip socks that go with flat shoes. Some days we mix and match without care. Different sizes? No big deal. Until your sock keeps falling and it throws your existence into a spiral. 

Getting ready to go for the day always starts with this mentally and physically tedious task. So, we buy more socks. It’s easier to just buy more socks than to deal with this mess. 

Better-fitting socks.

Cooler socks.

Then we wear them all through. And when they’re clean you throw them as you do, unmarried and unrolled into the abyss of your sock drawer.

Eventually, it gets harder and harder to find a pair.

Every wash and dry makes them smaller and somehow the drawer has grown larger. You’re sorting through what seems to be 8 years of socks, with a mix of some of your kids and the occasional sock of your husband. New socks. Old socks. Cool socks. All the socks.

They’re all there and yet, somehow, not a single pair.

You perpetually spend more and more time unsatisfied, digging through your drawers.

Getting ready for things, whether those things are finding your socks or finding your sanity, all start with you and the work you’re willing to put in to look after your future self.

I get that now.

I must choose to take the time it takes.

We have to do what we can to make sure we can get out the door without the chaos that clutters us inside, that we can never talk to anyone else about.

Nobody wants to hear about your socks.

Everybody has their own unique sock situation.

Only you can take care of the things that take up space in your head. And only you can take care of your socks.

So take care of your socks and take control of the things that you can. You don’t have to fight your socks. Only you can know how much you’re willing to take before you decide to change it and only you can change it.

Can you imagine that in due time, mere socks could lead you to insanity? One sock at a time, for me, it felt like it was.

True accountability takes its most honest form when nobody else is looking at you.

So, I’m trying. I’m taking baby steps to look out for my future self, one pair of socks at a time. What are you doing for you today?

Learn From People

Not everyone in your life is supposed to be there.

There will be people who will be there for years and years and years and then one day just as fast as they came, they go. 

Some grief doesn’t have death attached to it. For some, it’s enough just to have the absence of that life in any form.

It is okay for friendships and good times to become memories. It is okay to go your way if it’s not right for you.

There will be people that you leave willingly. Choosing to undo growth before it begins because you know that some are only meant to be segments of your story and you’re still writing that story. 

Let that willingness out, you’re just not meant to serve them all, no matter the size of your heart. No matter how badly you want to.

Some people were simply not meant to be ours. It would never be fair to keep them, even when their pending loneliness falls heavy on your shoulders. That just doesn’t serve you, them, or your heart. And there’s not a soul that I ever personally met that deserved a half-assed friend. Not a soul.

Sometimes you have to go. 

Sometimes you will grieve these losses and other times you will celebrate. But each time a friend comes to you, you will be changed just as you are when they go, no matter the duration of the moment they stayed. 

Because every person matters, and every moment matters. These lessons teach us boundaries. This grief teaches us about discourse and how we can learn from it. No faith, no friendship, and certainly no time nor grief, no nothing is linear.

We were not meant for everyone. And not everyone was meant for us. Each friendship and every interaction is a lesson to learn.

But only if we are willing to learn it.

He is a Good Dad

He’s not promised a walk down the aisle to deliver his girl to her groom. Because the eventuality of life is that it could end any day.

He kind of lives life like that. A hug goodbye even when I’m cranky. Random flowers, just because. And then he does all the same for our child.

He’s a good dad.

I’m trying to see life as the Father of my child sees life.

Like when the trash truck is coming at 7 a.m. and he’s walking heavy cans down the driveway without being asked because it has to be done. Like self-discipline.

Or when he holds our daughter’s hand at the dentist’s but talks to her sternly so she listens and learns from it when she’s afraid. It’s second nature to him.

He flies kites and plays Mario. And his Dad jokes are the best ones. Even though he’s busy, he still makes time for fun.

He’s a good dad.

I don’t need so much focus or control because sometimes you have to let go. And just trust the man you picked.

To view life, like him.

With logic and reason and also, the simultaneous understanding that not one of us will get out alive. Then to love your family like that.

When you lean into the trust fall you’ll be familiar with the arms around you.

He teaches us that. That breaks are important, listening and focus are survival techniques, there is a time for fun, trust is important, and we always want what’s best for you.

To never underestimate the value of a properly mowed lawn. To do hard work.

You share the weight for a reason. For all the things I need control of in this life as a Mom, the Father of my child is the one who sees to it that I sometimes let it go.

In almost a decade of knowing growing versions of him, watching him lead our family as Father has been my favorite one.

He’s a good dad.

I’m the Best Mom

I am the best mom for my kid.

Not the lady in aisle nine, who’s high-and-mighty on some high fructose corn syrup rant about fruit snacks and the youth.

Not that mom in the pick-up line whose kid has literally never once acted out-of-order while she rolls her eyes at mine.

Not even the identical version of me who was blowing smoke out of her ears while forcefully pushing little butts out the door ten minutes late this morning.

It’s not her, it’s me.

The me who knows my kid better than anyone else in the world.

The me who’s got this. The one who shows up to the game every day to coach it.

The me who doesn’t take blow-outs or toddler insults personally.

The me with wrinkles, stretch marks and a crooked smile full of joy.

The me who greets every over-asked question with enthusiasm and as an opportunity to learn.

The me who laughs and plays.

The me who is patient and steadfast.

The one who is so, so strong.

The one who can learn, listen and grow.

The me who is confident in my motherhood, even when I’m winging it.

It’s not just a part of me, it’s who I am.

It’s me. This girl right here.

I am the best mom for my kid.

If you’re a mom too, you’re probably the best one for your children. There is nobody who can do it as you do.

So be nice to other women, dont be so quick to judge. Be supportive, not the opposite.

You only get one chance to do it right.

And lucky for us all, what looks right for your family is totally up to you.

Sometimes He Carries The Team

Photo By CatchFly Photography 2020

Sometimes he carries the team.

I can not undo what my brain is hardwired to do, or unlearn how I have been conditioned to love and be loved. So I overthink it and he lays out the facts.

I can not part with my experience of trauma because she is a part of me. So, I hold her tight and I carry her. And he holds us.

I can not forget the feelings and the memories of postpartum. So I put them in my pocket and I carry them. And he zips up my pockets.

I can not abandon those who left too soon, who I grieve for. So I carry them in the fabric of my being. And he helps sew in the stitches.

When I was inadequate, when I felt I could not meet the measure, when I have failed or have been failed, I sleep with that. And he sleeps beside me.

The dishes that I miss, the laundry pile that keeps growing, the demand of carrying each item, each baby in your body, each child in your arms, the physical weight of it all gets a little heavy and gets you thinking-

“Boy, what a lot to hold.”

Mackinaw City, MI. 2021

But he helps me carry it. I do not carry it alone. And for all the things I know that “I can not”, there is one thing that I do know for sure-

It would be heavier without him.

Without someone who loves me when I’m broken, and enough not to fix me.

When I wince, when I rest, when I’m weary, when I can not hold the weight of it all alone-
he is with me on my team.

And for all of these things that I continue to carry…

It is him who carries me.

– Wallflower Writing


Seasons Of Grief

Houghton, MI. 2018

They say to get through grief “you must go through each of the seasons” and great loss makes you think about every interaction you’ve ever had.

Each challenge, every triumph, every single season.

At first, you watch the people around you, just as desperate and confused. Then you will laugh at the stories, and make no doubt, you will cry again. Knowing it’s the last time you’ll ever be with someone you love, you’ll whimper, scream or even fall to your knees.

And you will again, and again.

Yet, as time goes, you will discover that even in the changing of seasons, and with new perspectives coming each day, that the immeasurable void remains entirely the same. From the funeral to the grave, the 1st-anniversary date to the 20th, the depth of the pain remains unchanged.

So with each fall and with each season, you will rise and you will walk again. Until the next season that brings you to your knees.

Great grief doesn’t tire through just one year of seasons- it takes you- for all of the rest of them. It’s great love with no exit sign.

So, when they say “it takes a year of seasons”, please understand that saying “goodbye” to someone you love for the last time, is also saying “hello” to your new self for the first time. Because it is not just the final season of their life, but also the first season of the rest of yours.

The truth is, there is no agenda for loss. No timeframe for recovery, no amount of seasons that will make it different. There is only trusting in your heart that to have been afforded great grief, we were lucky to have first been afforded even greater love.

But you dont just “get through it.” As time goes on, you learn to accept the seasons of your heart, just as you have always accepted the changing of each season.

-Wallflower Writing


Quit Asking Me When I’m Having Another Baby

Quit telling me I’m due for another.
Quit telling me the clock is ticking.
Quit telling me to try for- the very thing I long for.

Quit telling me my child needs a sibling.
Quit telling me the second one is easier.
Quit telling me about the cursed age gap between siblings. Quit telling me one more would make our family complete.
Quit telling me my child needs a built-in best friend, and that I ought to try for a boy.

Quit asking if it’s baby weight. Quit telling me my child will be spoiled without a sibling, or that she will be weird without one. Quit asking if we’re a one-and-done family. Quit telling me it’s what’s best for the little one. Quit telling me my child will be lonely.

Quit telling me my body is running out of time.

Quit asking me- “WHY NOT?”

Because even when you are well-meaning, for some of us, the question can feel painfully loaded.

We have tried.
We already know about the ticking clock.
We want that too.
We have carried.
We know about the cursed age gap.
We have cried.
We are okay with where we are at.
We are working.
We have begged, we have prayed.
We don’t know why.
We have sacrificed.
We are tired.
We have grieved.
We have labored.

We have loved and we have lost.

So we sit with the strength of ourselves while we laugh off the question that our insides scoff at, but yet we still are so frequently asked.

“When will you have another?”

I beg you, never ask. Because sometimes, oftentimes, you don’t really know what it is that you’re asking.

For all the pills you can not swallow.
For all these losses you do not know.
For all these things you do not see.

For all the answers we can not give you regarding these powerful questions that you ask. For feelings that only a mother can feel.

For all the prices only women who are mothers will ever have to pay.

I beg you, please quit asking.
Quit assuming it is a choice we all have.

Because for some women… it is not.

-Wallflower Writing
#motherhood #womanhood

I Will Always Remind You

I’ll always remember the mornings you crawled into my bed in the dark to hold you before school. How you would cling on and hold me back.

I know that you won’t remember as I do, but I promise to always remind you.

I’ll always remember how long it took to master teaching you how to ride a bike and how long it has taken me to teach you about being brave. Especially when it comes to riding the bike.

How patient I can be because it was you who made me brave, you who made me wait. (Seriously, youre so slow!)

I’ll hear your belly laugh someday and remember all the tickles that I gave you and be reminded of the goofy-smiling mama with a messy bun that I was, who loved to play with you, and who you so dearly loved to play with.

How changed I am forever, because it was YOU who made me fun.

I know that you won’t remember as I do, but I promise to always remind you.

I’ll always remind you of the days all you ever wanted was me, because today I understand that all I ever needed was you.

In a world where I had to grow up so quickly and work so hard to survive, I finally found someone who shows me how to make-believe.

And how to dream. How to be bigger than the circumstances that made me. I won’t forget that the first time I got to be little myself, that I got to be little with you.

I know that you won’t remember as I do, but I promise to always remind you.

I’ll always remind you about the magic we felt under the fireworks at Cinderella’s castle at Disney. Or how we held each other tight on our first ever flight through the sky to get there.

I’ll always remember how I came alive when I had you, how I have been so alive ever since.

You might not always remember like I do, but I always will, and no matter how big you get, I will always love you.

I promise to always remind you.

-Wallflower Writing

Snuggle Wuggle With Tickles In It.

Lights Will Lead You.

I know that sometimes to see the light, you must experience and fully achieve its complementary darkness.

And it seems hard right now, because it’s been dark and it’s been raining for a while. But I promise you it won’t be dark forever.

From the darkness grows a great perseverance. And I believe that those who choose to, persevere towards the lightness.

Towards lightness that makes great ripples that will change the world. It is at our darkest moments that we must focus on seeing the light.

And when it is too hard to focus, when it’s too hard to find it, when you’re too shocked by the crazy world, and when the beacon has seemed to have fallen, we must come together and BE the light.

Because if your soul knows the light and if it lives in your heart, it will never be lost. And if you shine brightly and steadfast, the light will always lead you home.

~Wallflower Writing