Character Flaw

Oh, my!

The labels.

The reasons.

The excuses why we aren’t already who we aren’t meant to be.

What does it take?

Truly.

What is it going to take?

To be true.  To be real about who. we. are?

When will our “character flaw” stop becoming our excuse?

When will our excuse stop being our character flaw?

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Camille Vaughan Photography

There She Is

4 A.M.

And the moment I’d been dreading for 39 weeks.

No movement.

I sat on the side of my bed, sobbing.  Begging my husband to get the baby to move, knowing I had waited one day too long to induce.

See, the day before had been my daughter’s spring concert and I figured delaying a day wouldn’t make much difference.

But in this moment, I regretted it all.

In a panic, I called our doula and midwife first and next, our neighbor.

She arrived within seconds. I folded into her arms, scared of what we would find when we arrived.  She steadied me, reassuring that our three daughters at home were safe and off we went to find that baby Elizabeth was indeed alive and well.

Fast forward 18 months.

Same kitchen, same neighbor.

Our friends left and she stayed to ask the simple direct question: “Are you OK?”

“No.”

No, I wasn’t and all it took was for someone to ask.

I unfolded right in front of her, releasing the floodgates and once again, she took it.  She held it.  She steadied, reassured and stood me upright.

She looked me in the eye and said, “You are going to be OK.”  And then she followed through.

She called to check on me.  She invited me to run with her.

She held my hand.

And because of her, I made it.

There she is.

My superwoman.  My angel.  My friend.

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Hurricane

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Like, seriously.  What in the actual $*&% am I supposed to do.

A real hurricane is headed our way and yet, I already feel like I am in one.

How many fires a day can one firefighter endure before she needs a break?

So many little personalities, so many big needs.

The demands seem insurmountable.

Until I remember where I’ve been.

And how much more challenging it truly can be.

So, I cry.  I mourn my inability to juggle it all.  To feel like a “good” mom.

And I focus, instead, on what I do have.

A family.  A free country. Health. Resources.

I exhale.

And I begin again.

Groundhog Day

Repetitive.  Monotonous.  Tedious.

Have you ever felt like you get up and do the same thing every day?   You wake at the same time, with the same morning routine, the same route to work or school  and the same way home.  You shop at the same stores, buying the same things and you wonder, “Is it Groundhog Day?”

I’m 7 years into parenting four young daughters.  As exciting as it is to witness our 9 month-old baby reach her developmental milestones, there’s a part of me that feels tired and worn.  Sure, it’s her first time, but it’s my fourth. Likely similar to how the doctor performing my gallbladder surgery this past summer felt: she had removed thousands of gallbladders over the years but not mine.

The question I’ve been asking myself lately is how do I get out of this rut?

Just as you aren’t going to quit your job or change your route to work, I’m not looking to give up my children or start a new career.  The changes I seek are small, not drastic.

Introduce a new breakfast.  Start a new exercise routine.  Schedule time during the week just for myself.

When I’m feeling out of control, I recognize that it is time to get back in the driver’s seat and make positive, healthy changes for my body and mental health so that I may approach the same old things with a fresh, new mindset.

Because when Elizabeth takes her first steps in the coming months, I want to celebrate that milestone with her with the same sincerity that doctor reassured me with minutes before my surgery: like it was the first time and not Groundhog Day.

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Camille Vaughan Photography