TO THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK YOU CAN'T, YOU CAN
My mother has repeatedly said to me over the years, "Never say you can't. because you can."
I remember when I gave birth to my daughter and she spent the first 5 weeks with us at home in Nashville and when I dropped her off at the airport, shaking with tears I said, "I don't think I can do this without you Mom," and she said back to me with direct confidence, "sweetheart, you already are."
To those of you who think you can't, you can.
I don't know what got into me, but after she said those words, and after I dried my tears, I truly believed. And I drove my new Mom-self and my 5 week old daughter home. And every time since that day that I've been faced with that moment of doubt, it's become a little easier.
The thing is, life isn't exactly how we see it. It paves it's own way, with or without your permission and when the road crosses a path that seems too terrifying to cross, but you can't turn back, you go. And you keep going. Because, life.
The older I get the more I realize the pain or challenges that I endure, that we all endure is part of the plan. It makes the sweetest things, sweeter. The moments when you actually have to fight back tears of grace and thanks to God despite how tough the previous hour was or year for that matter, that's when you know. You can. You will. And isn't it beautiful.
I remember the day my twins were born and I truthfully didn't know where to start. Nothing can quite prepare you for delivering two tiny humans out of your body and holding them both in your arms, and staring into their innocent eyes wondering how in the world am I not going to screw this up. And today. when I wake up every morning and we carry those boys down the stairs and we start our morning routine, I don't know any different than us. I know it's difficult, but I do it and I never stop. When people compliment me for being a twin mom or having my "hands full" I brush it off like no big deal. But when I reflect on it, I see the real bravery is there and was there the day they were born.
They say you don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
You're really great.
You just might not know it.
You just have to start.
Because you can, even if you think you can't.
The single most important lesson I've learned in being a mother is that I can.
I can be a good mother. I can raise the children well. I can be imperfect and messy and have moments of feeling unfit at everything, but I can still do my job as a mother. I can accept the challenges as they come and defeat to the best of my ability. I can dream to be a dreamer. I can heal the children with the gentle swipe of my hand across their head and an embrace against my chest. I can love them with all that I have and I can make a difference in their lives. I can.. And I will.
I don't have it all figured out, but really, who does?
And even if we begin with baby steps, we begin. The lessons we are taught as we navigate through adulthood and parenthood can sting us hard up front. It's like, "excuse me, but is this supposed to be so hard? Where is my white picket fence?" But life doesn't turn out like every Disney movie and the struggle is real. And I find, if I'm honest with myself I can learn to appreciate the fight as much as I can the outcome. Too many times my expectations have forced me to see life half empty and to stand stagnate is ok. But it's not. I want to feel it all. I want to try. I want to see one foot in front of the other and I want to walk the walk. In the end if we aren't moving, how do we ever grow?
So when you have that feeling of hopelessness, that moment when you must peel yourself up off the bathroom floor because you have to face the world, remember, if you get up, then you're already 10 steps ahead, because you can. And you will.
It takes practice. I'm a slow learner, but I appreciate the steady glorious ride.