I had high hopes.
I cleaned off my laptop and organized my photo catalogs. I was going to blog this baby right, soaking her in, capturing time with my lens and sharing those images with words from the depths of my heart. I was going to have something beautiful for you all now and for her when she grew up.
Those first few months I snapped some pictures, but I didn’t touch my computer any more than I had to for work. I just held her and held her. Then I began to blog in some stops and starts between homeschooling, much baby snuggling, a few speaking engagements to share the miracle God had done in my life, and finishing up the book proposal for my memoir manuscript about our story of pregnancy loss and hope.
I know how you blink and your first wiggly bundle of joy is a teenager and your infant daughter is grown almost nine months. After four children and almost forty years, I know this well and wrote about the swift current of time we are all over-swept by.
But here I am again, feeling not enough and unable to keep up or birth the vision I hold. What am I to do?
Before I have given up, but now I have a daughter. A daughter who I aim to show the way – how to be who you are made to be, how to accept smallness and welcome stillness while keeping the fire of dreams alight.
At the beginning of the summer I sent my boys off for five weeks to Junior Lifeguards. I thought four days a week to myself would result in a flurry of creativity. Instead there was baking for their camp food-contests, meal planning and shopping for the best sunscreen. There was driving them to events and spending long, sunny hours on the beach watching them compete. There were naps with baby girl and sticky popsicles by the pool as soon as my boys ran in the door. There was the biggest fourth of July party ever and campfire after campfire with friends gathered close. This past week there was packing for big-boy trips to rivers and mountains, and dinners to say goodbye. There is nothing I would trade for what this summer has been, and now this morning is a bit of quiet amidst the long and noisy, sunlit days.
So as her head rests on my chest, curled inside the wrap that has held her every day of her little life, with the sweet companions that tea, music and writing have been for us… Now I am trying to find a space to stand in that allows me to share imperfectly.
I wanted to give you her story day by day, a chronology of Joy. But life is a whirling, swirling, beautiful mess of time, and this blog is a place where I can honor that. This is not one of the articles I write for publication with a word count, theme, tone and deadline. This is not my manuscript, where I crafted story arc chapter by chapter. This is the place I can speak truest. Thank you for listening.
Today (and hopefully most Tuesdays) I will write of where I am this very minute. I will write Present Tense Tuesdays so you can see the beauty right before my eyes and share struggles before I have sorted them out safe and sound. It’s ingratitude to leave all that gift on a hard-drive just because I can’t really do it justice.
Then on (hopefully) most Thursdays I will share Past Tense Thursdays (yes in homage to #throwbackthursdays) where I will share bits from my journey already traveled. Most for now will be of this first year of baby girl’s life, but I aim to seek treasure way back when my others were little or even further.
And then on the weekends I find myself writing to her, so as many weekends as I can I will share Letter Writing Weekends with you – my heart for my daughter, post by post.
I don’t know exactly what to do when we realize we can’t keep up… But for me, this is what I walk in for now. I would love to have you join me – your support and sharing in this journey means more than I can possibly say. It really does. And I would love to hear if there are areas where you feel defeated because of feeling you can’t “keep up” with your vision or other’s expectations. Have you found any strategies that give you courage? Any ways to let go of the feeling you have to “keep up?” Let’s all make small steps in freedom together. If it brings us joy, let’s not let doing it perfectly keep us from the beauty.
– This post is part of my Present Tense Tuesday series. Images taken by Jesse on July 4, 2017 . Joy in vintage romper handed down by my Mom, me in dress I had maternity pictures taken in for Joshua and Joy, bonnet from Briar Handmade