I have always been a person who has preferred to ease into the water rather than hold my breath and jump. When I was a kid I would always convince my little sister to go in first and test the waters before I would tentatively dip my toes in. That being said, I have been known to take a few risks in my time.
As I got older and especially after I had kids I started to take risks less and less. Until it got to the point where I wasn’t even bothering to ease into the water anymore. I was just sitting back on the shore watching everyone else.
Parenthood is an incredibly rugged and scenic journey. It is not for the faint of heart. There are so many joyous moments and so many…. Not so joyous moments. It is a constant up and down. I have spent my time as a fledgling parent focused on memories of my children, their milestones and their stages of development. All those little things I treasure and don’t want to forget as they grow and get older. What is easy to forget is that parenthood is also a stage in my development and that I took a big risk in becoming a parent. I imagine the day when I will look over baby books with my grown children and I will tell them about their first tooth and their first words. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could also tell them “This is what it was like for me to become your mom. It was a time of learning and growth for me too.”
The idea to start writing about my experience as a parent came to me quite a while ago. But it was hard to take the time out of my chaotic schedule to find an outlet for the stories I had floating around in my head. Then actually letting these stories out into the world was a really big leap, one I was not entirely sure I could take.
So this idea sprouted in my mind and its potential grew. I wrote when I had the time while babies napped or slept in the next room and I collected my thoughts. Every couple of months I would shimmy out and put my toes over edge. I would look down at the water, dizzyingly far below. Then I would shuffle back away with a sinking feeling in my stomach.
So here I am, once again, standing on that familiar ledge trying to decide whether or not to jump. I guess sometimes you just have to close your eyes, hold your breath and take that leap.