I’m writing this from a Mictrotel in Ames, Iowa, having my morning coffee and killing an hour before I head over to Iowa State University to watch my daughter’s team compete for a bid to the D3 National Collegiate Ultimate championships.
My kids aren’t really kids anymore. I think you know this, if you’ve been with me for any length of time, but it’s been so interesting to observe my own transformation as somewhat of a mommy blogger turned middle-aged blogger.
I remember thinking it was cute to say I was middled aged when I turned 40. It wasn’t just cute, it was pretty factual. If I lived to be 80, then 40 really was the middle. Over the past few years, I’ve had fewer stories to share about this whole mama thing, which is funny when I think about it, because if anything, parenting requires an increasing level of sophistication the longer you’re at it. Just when you think you know what’s next, I can attest to the fact that you really don’t. And that actually makes it exciting. And challenging.
I’ve mentioned before that as my children have matured, fewer of their stories are mine to tell. That’s a fact and one that I have honored, because it is the very least I can do, considering how many stories about them I have shared publicly over the years.
Three years ago, my daughter wrote a post about what it was like for her to grow up in the public eye of a scrapbooking mama. I gave her no direction (as if she would have taken it) and I loved what she wrote.
I’ve worked hard during the past 5 or 6 years to be a better parent. A better wife. A better friend. I’ve changed a lot of my once negative behaviors because when you really connect to the fact that time is not on your side here on this big blue ball, you can do things you never realized you were capable of.
I yelled a lot when the kids were little. I used anger as my way of getting people to comply. And by ‘people’ I mean my three immediate family members. I have asked Aidan a few times what that was like for her, to have a mother who yelled and basically acted like a young child at times when things weren’t exactly going her way. She’ll tell me she really doesn’t remember, but I want her to know that when she does connect to how much that must have sucked, I’m here and I’m ready to listen.
I think that while their stories to share are fewer and far between, I know there are stories of my own that can fill these pages when I’m wanting to write about something other than how to design a kick ass scrapbook page.
I feel that in the past few years, I’ve really dropped off in sharing personal things. I know that is the very thing that has connected many of you to me and kept you coming back.
Just know that I’m working out ways to tell stories from this middle place, a place I am so deeply grateful to be right now, even with all of its imperfections and changes. Because at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Note: My daughter’s team, after facing a tough semi-final loss in their first game on Sunday, regrouped and came back with so much heart and tenacity, winning their remaining three games and earning their bid to the national championships next month. I may have cried just a little. Talk about a privilege to witness.