All the Feels

For those who missed it, I was the crazy bike riding mom yelling “YEAH!! YOU GOT THIS” with a huge smile on my face and tears streaming from my eyes last night.

My 6 year old daughter just recently learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She wants to ride EVERYWHERE now and we try to accommodate, but when we do we have to recognize that it will be taking us an additional :30 mins to our final destination. There’s a lot of stop, start, curb, car, peddle finding, car, curb, falling etc… you remember.

So when my daughter asked if she could ride to dinner my doomsday champion (you know that little voice that knows everything thing that can go wrong and gives you a pat on the back when you are correct?) Well, she was dusted off and prepared to share. I was getting ready to remind my daughter that she would have to ride all the way there and then she’d still have to ride home. That I was not going to carry her bike, that she would have to ride the whole way. That it was going to take forever not to mention “The Hill”. The Hill. The same hill that she fell down and skinned her knee on as she rode triumphantly to the Pride Parade. And the same hill that on the way home, my husband had to carry her bike because it was too hard to ride up.

But I didn’t, you guys. I was able to separate myself from doomsday champion and be there for my daughter as mom. I chose to trust, whatever the outcome, my daughter was strong enough to navigate it. My husband and I flanked her sides as we all rode down the middle of the street. We assured her she could just focus on riding and we would keep an eye out for cars. As we approached The Hill, she stopped nervously. She reminded me what happened the last time she took on this hill. She showed me the exact spot that the dreaded incident happened. I told her she would have to be willing to get hurt if she wanted to ride a bike. I told her to take a deep breath; she told me she was scared. I told her that it was fine to be scared and she could still do it. Then I waited there with her in silence.

Before coaching (B.C.) sitting in silence with her would have felt fucking impossible. I would have just talked her head off either trying to give her confidence or perhaps tough love. This has been something I’ve worked on the past 8 months...silence. I have deep wish for people to see their greatness. I find so much beauty and possibility in others, it was challenging to not vomit rainbows and unicorns of encouragement. I’m now present to how this is my way of fixing, managing and controlling others experience and feelings. That is not my job, that’s not my wish. I don’t believe we need fixing, or managing and definitely not controlling. So, I’ve been learning to lean back. To recognize my own power in holding space, managing my own expectations and relationship results. I have to remind myself that I can do everything “right” and my children are still going to have their falls. Knee pads, helmets, elbow pads can protect their bodies, but our heart, mind and spirit cannot be protected. So the best I can do as a mother sometimes is to stand by her in her power and choice. Work the muscle that allows her to build self trust.

I just sat there and waited till she was ready. Then down she went and as she gained speed she started saying to herself, “I'm a little bit scared, but I can do it. I’m a little bit scared, but I can do it”. She just repeated that all the way down. You guys…I was so proud! She made it all the way to the restaurant. And on the way home she hit a curb and was thrown over her bike…BUT SHE GOT BACK ON! When we got back to The Hill I told her at the top of the hill and at home, there was a reward. She rode to the top of the hill all the way home with fury, fire and passion. There was chocolate waiting for her at home. Chocolate, the great motivator.

The best part was seeing how proud she was of herself. I was feeling all the feels of gratitude, of love, pride, and fulfillment. I was so grateful that I was able to be with her, in my essence. That I sat back and let the rainbows and unicorns shoot from her, not me. That I can share these moments with my family and be full of love is an absolute gift.


This Too Shall Pass

There was a moment in my first labor when my doula looked me in the eye and said, as if she could read my mind, “Trust me, the baby has to come out. You won’t be in labor forever.” I started crying. Hearing her words gave me perspective.  It was exactly what I needed in that moment. It reminded me of only a few days earlier when I found myself thinking I would be pregnant forever. And she did eventually come out. I wasn’t pregnant forever.

So here I am almost 6 years later, with my second child whose struggle to sleep last night has left me with the terror that it will be this way forever. Spinning out thinking that I’ll never know a full night's rest again and I’ll wither away a sad and tired woman. As I’m driving to work trying to strategize how to fix this, my crazy mom voice jumped on the mic and said “Oh fuck! This is my new forever”.

That’s all I needed, that’s now my trigger. That thought is what now, 5 ½  years deep and still a rookie, I have as my saving grace. I let those words run through my whole body and like a montage in a bad rom-com, all those weak tired moments from the past come flooding in. They remind me that this too shall pass. Smiling, I reminded myself that this is just my right now and the only place I need to be, is right now. It can still be stressful, it can still be exhausting, it can still be really fucking annoying, but it won’t and doesn't have to be forever. Right now, as we all know, is a very difficult place to be at times. As a human in the world, not just as parents, but for all of us.

I know that I struggle with staying in the right now and allowing it to be just that without the mission of fixing or solving. Last night while I was trying to put my five year old to bed, hearing the screams of my baby made me increasingly irritable. I snapped and was quick and rude to my daughter who was just being 5. Then as we were snuggling into bed she whispered, “Mommy, I’m never going to leave you. I won’t go to college unless there is a college near you. I’m going to snuggle you till I’m Grammy’s age”. Oh, that levels you. Those moments, when they are so amazing and remind you to focus on the now. There I was stressing, worrying about my new forever with my 2 year old and missing the right now with my 5 year old. Because, I know this devotion my daughters have for me now is not my forever. This overwhelming love and admiration will manifest into embarrassment and distaste come puberty. The dark days of parenting are just as fleeting as the ones that melt our hearts. So even though at times it feels impossible and unrealistic, I’m working really hard to let in that crack of light to change the colors of my right now.


Running to Possibility

Tomorrow, I’m running my first 5k. I have to wake up at 5:30am, in the pouring rain, 42 degrees and run 3.1 miles. To many people, this isn’t much, there are people running significantly more. But I’m not thinking about them, I’m not focusing on their goals, I’m focusing on mine.

I’ve always played with athletics, mostly yoga, but never running. I never got it, I thought it was unobtainable for me. I thought there was no way in hell, I’d ever be able to run more than a mile. If I was running, it was because someone was chasing me. But I wanted something in my life that had a long play. I wanted to have to work hard to meet a goal that I could feel in the end. I knew that running was something that I would have to push myself, not only physically but mentally and emotionally to reach the end. It was going to be hard and I needed the challenge.

SO I started running. When I was able to successfully run 1.5 miles, I started telling people I was going to run my first 5k. That made it real. I started looking for running partners, looking for someone to run the 5k with me. I was looking for someone to keep me accountable and help me stay committed to my goal. I looked around trying to find that other novice to keep each other on track. At one point I reached out to an old friend I’ve lost touch with, in hopes they might be interested. She never got back to me….I didn’t have anyone to run with, but I kept running. The only thing motivating me, was me. The only person I was accountable to, was me. The only person who can run for me, is me.

So, I’m going to wake up at 5:30am, eat a powerbar, call a car to drop me off, then navigate my way through a sea of people till I figure out how I do this. It’s going to start off scary, but I’m hopeful it will end with a win. I need a win right now. So long as I cross the finish line, even if I’m on my hands and knees, it will be a win.

I’m hoping this is the start of many new wins. I’m looking to start leaning into the unknown as much as I can. This unknown space is where all the possibility lives. I want to start seeing those spaces that scare me, that tell me to back off, that give me many reasons to lean back, see them and do the opposite. I want to lean in, I want to say “fuck it, let’s do it”, I want to be the “hell, yeah” girl. I want to show up for ALL of me. Not just the mom. Not just the wife. Not just the shit that makes the day move forward to the next. I want to show up for the part of me that leaves me with that sexy, flirtatious spark. That part of me that when I walk away I feel like a badass, strong, witty, all the many things I once knew of myself.  Even though I showed up every day before today that got me to race day, I will still show up after that.