“There's nothing wrong with being shallow as long as you're insightful about it.”
Okay, so my husband brought this to my attention: how shallow I must be if I have to Google to find my favorite quote. So, true (as I threw a shoe at him as he ran up the stairs!) I admit it, though. Am I proud of it, no. Officially, I am not letting him look over my shoulder anymore as I write my blog.
So here's a snap shot of me. For years, my favorite thing to read was People Magazine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this magazine and because of it I could really hold my own at the water cooler. Unfortunately, it did nothing to make me smarter. When I did read a book, it was some chick-lit work that did not challenge my thinking or do anything to stimulate my mind. My husband is an avid reader and I see how it has grown him both personally and professionally. My People magazine obsession was our little "inside joke" for several years. I am happy to say that I gave up my celebrity magazines but they were replaced with reality television shows. You can see where I'm going with this!
I graduated from college in 1994 with a nursing degree and started working immediately. Since that time, I have been looking for something else to do as a profession. I thought about teaching, selling houses, being a bridal consultant. My best one was to be an "advocate for the underdog" which I could never quite explain to my husband. I would throw out the idea of being a writer, but why would he take me seriously, when I never followed through on ANY of my ideas.
Sixteen years after graduating college, I've finally figured myself out. I should have been a writer. Deep down inside there is an artist that can put words and stories on a page and it this thought makes me feel alive. It validates me. All of my waffling over the years makes sense to me. My nursing is a natural fit. God made me nurturing and caring. How incredible that I can do a job that can pay my bills and chase my dream of writing, never having to worry about making any money from it. As long as I can learn about writing and become better at putting words on a page and bless people with my stories, who cares about making money.
So, maybe this time next year, after spending a year reading, reading, reading, I will be able to truely quote a favorite saying without having to Google it.
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The Power of Your Voice
I'll never forget the night that my water broke committing me to the eminent arrival of my first child. It was surprising and unexpected. Nervousness settled in quickly after the gushes of water and phone calls to the parents. I wasn't contracting so G and I stayed home and I attempted to sleep. My baby had been an abstract thought up until that point. I had taken care of myself, eaten the "right" foods, gone to my prenatal appointments, and stocked her nursery, but I had not been one of those women who connected with the baby from the beginning. I had not read books to her or put classical music headphones on my belly to make her smarter than all the other babies in the nursery. I felt like I didn't know her.
We headed to the hospital early the next morning. The nervousness continued. It was a big deal to become a mom. The nurse put the monitors are my belly and I heard her heart beat and I saw my contractions. The doctor gave me medicine to make my contractions stronger and before long I had an epidural. The day progressed but I did not and I ended up having a cesarean section. Baby L was born at 4:12 pm on August 22, 1999. She had this small little cry and dark hair. I only saw her for a few minutes before she was taken to the recovery room for her bath and her head -to -toe "once over."
Thirty minutes later, my nurse rolled me into the recovery room and there she was in the warmer. My bed was rolled up next to her. Under the radiant heater, she lay pretty and pink with her head looking away from me. I'll never forget this moment because when I spoke she turned her head to me. Amazingly, she knew my voice! I knew this baby and she knew me. I was her mother and from that moment on my heart was hers.
With out a doubt, this is probably the coolest moment of my life up until right now. I wouldn't trade it and would experience it all over again.
Life can change in an instant.
It was dark in the room. All she heard were the breaths of her husband and the swish of the ceiling fan blades. In the quiet of the night, her thoughts went backwards. Fighting the fear and dread that rose up inside of her gut making her sick.
The image replayed in her head. Cooking in the kitchen, easy and slow, laughing and talking with her man between the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. She glanced out the window seeing her kids playing in the back yard. The grass so green and the air, hot and thick.
"It didn't happen so don't think about it," she told her self as she closed her eyes. Again, the fear and dread. The racing, anxious thoughts. Kids playing. Her oldest girl pushing the youngest on the swing. Her baby-the one she never thought she would have, now 2 years old-her long, golden locks blowing behind her in the breeze as the swing went back and forth. Her boy tossing baseballs to his friend who was fiercely swinging the bat.
Potatoes frying, she looked down into the pan. Walking back and forth between the window and the stove, keeping her eye on her kids.
The baby was off the swing. She had a small plastic bat and her big sister was tossing her balls.
"How smart my girl is," she thought. Her boy still tossing balls to his friend. The boys were oblivious to the girls. Laughter back and forth intermingled with intense focus on the ball. Toss the ball, hit the ball. Toss the ball, hit the ball. Swoosh, cutting through the air.
She looked away from the window at the popping grease, stirring the potatoes. They were becoming crispy and black. Just right. As she looked back through the window, she saw her oldest looking away, gathering the balls she had thrown to her golden haired sister. The baby carrying the bat walking right into the path of the older boys fiercely swinging the bat.
Simultaneously, her husband entered the kitchen and they both ran for the door. They shout the name of their oldest child, "Grab her!" Immediately, the attention of all is captured. The boys stop swinging the bat. The baby is oblivious to any danger that could have ended her life.
The fun is done. The friend goes home. The oldest gets a lecture on backyard safety. The night goes on.
But for her, she lays in the bed fighting the thoughts of what if the bat had connected with the head of her baby. Running out into the yard, picking up her limp body. Her golden hair, her sweet light forever changed or dimmed forever. What would she have done? How would her older kids have ever gotten over it.
"Stop it," she old her self in the stillness of the night, "it didn't happen."
"No what ifs," she thought. "Don't live this way, it will torture you. There will be to many in this life."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, God, that today was not her day."
She closed her eyes and went to sleep.