First Steps on Mother Turf

Maisley,

You took your first steps today. We have been coaxing you to walk for a few weeks now, but you never take our bait in the form of a yellow sneetch or a sparkly blue ball.

We were out in the beautiful sunshine at Choice in Carlsbad. Just you and me.

It’s one of your favorite places (and mine) because there are so many kids to watch and so much space to be free.

I laid out our blanket on the astroturf and we played for a while. We were having a really good and joy filled day that July 13th, 2017.

And then suddenly, without warning, you turned away from me and stood up. Holding your orange sippy cup, teeth gritting together; one, two, three like a drunken sailor and then a gentle tumble.

You did it!! Your very first steps, just your way.

I was so proud of you and I couldn’t stop clapping, smiling and cheering you on. It was absolutely amazing.

I think this monumental moment was one of many to prepare me for the independence and strong-will divinely set deep in your bones. I knew this from the day we had you, though.

The woman next to us took notice of the commotion and commented, “How beautiful. Her first steps here on mother earth.”

Mother turf, I thought, through a smile.

I love that you took your first steps in the wide open air, where you seem most happy and full of life.

Now that you’re off and walking, I wonder where your feet will go?

To the cobblestone streets of Venice?
Up the Eiffel Tower in Paris?
Along the mean streets of Manhattan?
Fluttering through the Mediterranean sea?
Strolling the coastal walk at Bondi Beach?

These first steps are just the beginning of what I hope and pray is a lifetime of endless steps. To new places and familiar ones too.

Thank you for all that you are and all that you are becoming. I love every part of you.

Love and hugs,
Your mama

IMG_2326

Advertisements

Holy Anxiety

I wore a skort to church one Sunday when I was 9-years-old.

I mistakenly sat at the end of the wooden pew which left me susceptible to outside hand holding during the “Our Father”. Sure enough, the young (cute) boy across the aisle reached out with his clammy right hand, ready for my awkward embrace. The rest of mass he kept glancing over in my direction. My crimson face didn’t do much to hide my embarrassment.

It’s my skort, I thought. I am definitely seducing him with my skort.

Needless to say, I didn’t wear a skort again until sophomore year of high school when boys started to be more appealing, yet equally as frightening.

As a third generation worrier, I’ve had some level of anxiety since I can remember.  I didn’t really label my strange childhood nuances as anxiety until adulthood, when I came to understand the feelings on a deeper level.  

Most days I’m grateful to be able to manage my anxious thoughts and worries with prayer, yoga, breathing, writing, positive mantras, travel, running, calming rituals, and so on.

Mental health is seemingly at the forefront of conversations lately, which is really where it should be. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more because of the people in my life who are increasingly affected by it.

After leaving my doctor’s office this week for an annual physical, I couldn’t help but feel like our visit was incomplete.  Why didn’t she ask me how my brain was feeling? Why didn’t she ask how I’ve been doing emotionally? Isn’t that just as important as a skin check and breast exam?

It also got me thinking about what I can do as a mom to encourage enough moments of serenity in the beautiful chaos of life for my daughter and family. I think it’s probably a combination of leading by example and sharing coping tools, activities and open communication. 

As of now, she spends most of her time squealing with joy and doing headstands with her 5-toofed smile. I hope she stays this care-free forever.

But just in case, for fashion’s sake and all that is holy, I think I’ll spare her the skort experience altogether.