The Outcome

IMG_1512

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be writing this article. I mean, I can write about a lot of things and express a lot of emotions, but this, I wasn’t expecting this.

As many of you know, I’m going through a divorce. I never thought I’d be doing that either. The “D” word actually makes my stomach turn to say. It’s a word I would use to describe the tumultuous end to my parent’s marriage, but not my own. Although I can say there’s nothing tumultuous about my relationship with my ex-husband, another word I hate, the “D” word still doesn’t feel normal or like it belongs within 10 feet of me. But ultimately it did. And it still does. And I’m sure it will get easier to say, and be.

But the truth is, I left.

I left the perfect marriage because, well, first of all it wasn’t perfect. So for those who believed it was, I’m sorry to burst your bubble. And for those grieving the loss of “us,” my condolences. Imagine how we feel.

Just because I left, doesn’t mean I wanted to. I had to. It wasn’t a choice. And it sure as hell wasn’t easy. So for those who think I left, moved on without a care and am waving from my high horse, please, get a grip.

I ran into a conflict. One that could not be ignored. One that could not be “fixed” in therapy or in any other way. One that stopped me dead in my tracks and still has me baffled at times.

I’m a monogamist. I have never been a casual dater. I’d been boy crazy as a young teen. I had a high school boyfriend who I was infatuated with for a long time. Then I fell head over heels for my husband. 3 years later we were married. 1 year later we had our first son. 4 years later we had our second son. And in the same year that we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary, and 14 years of being together, we were also filing divorce papers.

Because there was this “thing” that plagued my heart and soul for the last several years of my marriage, this question that I thought could never be answered, this mind-fucking tug of war between my heart and my head that ripped me to pieces over and over again. This thing that I couldn’t put my finger on, blindsided me. I was given no warning. It was a reality so far from what I was expecting. It cured the plague, it answered the question, and it put me back together.

I fell in love with a woman.

Before anyone goes labeling me, and placing me in a neat little box to confine and talk about, please beware, I am the last person to care about a damn label. I don’t do well in small confined spaces, and I don’t give a fuck who has what to say about me. That will never stop me from living my life and loving who I love. Maybe it’s my age, my field of work, or my lack of fucks to give, but nope.

Am I gay? Bi-curious? Bisexual? Straight? Confused? Going through a phase? (That’s my favorite.)

I had never looked at another woman in a romantic way. I had never entertained the idea. I have always thought women are beautiful and strong and fearless warriors, but don’t we all? Was I naive? Out of touch with who I really was? Oblivious to my own desires? I would argue against all of those things, but what do I know? I mean, how the hell do I know anything anymore? I thought I knew myself, but that was thrown out the window when I met her.

She was beautiful, kind, sweet, generous, funny, and her positive energy was infectious. But it became more than that. I connected with her on an incredibly deep level. This quest I had been on for most of my late 20s and all of my 30s to find what was missing for me, was exhausting, maddening, and devastating. I was sure there was something wrong with me. I felt misunderstood and undeserving of the life I had because I wasn’t fulfilled. My heart wasn’t whole, and my spirit worked tirelessly to maintain consistency for those around me.

I was sad. Suffering at times. But quietly, because from the outside looking in, this just shouldn’t be how one feels or reacts to such a beautiful life. And I didn’t know what was wrong, and that made it impossible to fix.

But She. She walked into my life, and just fit. As if I’d known her forever, or in another life. As if my quest was for her. As if my uneasiness, my anxiety, and my restlessness had all been heightened because I didn’t have her with me. I had found my peace.

I had no more questions. I had found the answer. And I was sure. I had never been more sure of anything before. But I was married, with the perfect life to the perfect husband with the perfect kids. We had the perfect plans for our perfect future.

But I had to follow my gut, and my heart. And it fucking sucked. It hurt people I love. It shocked people I love. It pushed people away, that I love. It’s sucked the energy out of me for a period of time. It’s riddled my heart for a moment. It’s tested all of my beliefs and expectations of who I am and what I stand for.

It’s been humbling. And I wouldn’t change it.

I don’t know who people will see after reading these words. I don’t know what people will think or say or feel. And that’s ok. I’m at peace with the outcome. Because the outcome is, I am a human being in love with another beautiful human being.

I am happy. I am whole. I am peace. I am love. I am me.

 

All Good Things…

IMG_1023

I’ve come to the realization that things are never quite what they seem. I don’t care if I’m looking at a bucket of sand. Maybe it’s not a bucket of sand, maybe it’s the remnants of a fossil, broken and finely crushed over time. Time so gradual that no one even noticed the fossil turned to pebbles; turned to dust.

They say, all good things come to an end, but I never believed that to be true. I figured, sure, if we choose things to end, than I guess that can be true, but never did I believe it to be inevitable. But if I’m being realistic about it, we all die, so for us, in our experience everything does end. But my marriage? No. My marriage was rock solid.

I didn’t know one other woman on this planet that had anything close to what I grasped in the palm of my hands. A husband who would move mountains to make me happy. Someone who worked tirelessly for his family, and a father beyond my wildest dreams. What’s to be unhappy about? Well, I wasn’t. At least I didn’t know I was.

If you read my writing, you know just how deep I feel. Not just for myself but for others. I can literally feel other’s pain. It’s the most terrible and most beautiful gift I possess. It gives me life, yet also gives me such anxiety to think of others suffering. My point is, I’m sensitive, empathetic and emotional. Really fucking emotional. Let’s not confuse “emotional” with “unstable.” Sure I can be unstable, we all can, but what I’m saying is, I lead with my heart. I listen to my gut. And this part of me isn’t just a piece of me, it’s most of me if not all of me. It’s the biggest part of me. It’s what drives my purpose in this existence, and to understand me is to know this part of me.

My marriage was rock solid. Except for the stake of not feeling understood, which was softly beating down on the rock that was my marriage. It was soft enough that I could barely feel it. I was sure it wasn’t doing much damage, and would eventually go away. I could have bigger problems than not feeling understood by a man who gave me the world. I felt selfish for even having such feelings, and came to the conclusion that what I really needed was to be grateful. I was obviously spoiled and ungrateful. Looking past something so small as not feeling “gotten” should be easy enough.

Until it wasn’t.

So I’d do what any wife would do, ask to talk about it. Express myself in 12 different analogies and then beat a dead horse until tears saturated my pillowcase. That feeling of release to the man who gives me the world was not just cathartic, it was healing to know he wanted to improve our emotional connection. And just the sheer fact of him wanting to try, that was enough to keep me “happy.” Because what is there to be unhappy about?

As time ticked on, and years flew by, babies were born, parents were born, growth plagued us with pain and stretched us to greatness. Passions were realized and moves were made. A husband and wife who pursued their professional and personal happiness, as a team, united for their children and loving one another unconditionally. What is there to be unhappy about? Sure, I didn’t feel like my heart was understood, but if that was my biggest problem, I must be spoiled and ungrateful. Staying grateful, and praising the man who gives me the world, yes this is how I’ll feel better. This will help me to feel happier.

Until I couldn’t pretend anymore.

So I’d communicate. Communicate my feelings, my grief, and express the emptiness inside that I haven’t been able to fill. I’d explain these things to a man who looked at me so deep, with tears in his eyes, yearning to understand me, and telling me he’ll do better. But I couldn’t understand what he needed to do better. He was perfect. A saint if you will. Sure he didn’t understand me emotionally, but he wanted to, and to watch a man so loving, so caring, want something so bad, he was the love of my life. Well he loves me a hell of a lot, so he must be the love of my life.

How many years would go by until I felt like I was understood? Maybe I just needed to stop feeling so much and focus more on my kids, or making my husband happy. Lord knows I wasn’t the best wife in the world. You couldn’t domesticate me if you tried.  I hated cooking, and cleaning felt like a waste of time because it would all be a mess again.

What is this emptiness? Wait. Stop! Focus focus focus, on anything else but that.

My marriage was rock solid, but I was wearing thin. That stake beating down softly has gotten heavier, or maybe harder? Either way, it hurts, and it’s harder to ignore. Well I’ll be honest, I was never able to ignore it, but I tried. I’d begun noticing cracks in our foundation, in me; pieces of me crumbling everywhere. I’d try to pick them up as they fall but they’re falling at a rapid pace and I can’t keep up. This can’t be dissatisfaction. I have the most incredible and compassionate partner, what’s to be dissatisfied about? What is there to be unhappy about?

I must be depressed.

I’d go to the doctor, get on meds, and in 6 weeks start feeling like a new person. This is amazing! THIS is what was wrong with me! I can’t believe I’d been living with such a cloud over me for so long. I’m able to get out of bed, not be as anxious and enjoy my family more. It was amazing.

Until it wasn’t.

And I was back where I started, feeling empty, void, misunderstood. I was yearning for connection, for emotional understanding, to share my passion and bigger purpose with the one I love. He knows me, he gets me to a point, he wants to understand me. So badly he wants to understand me. Why does this not feel like it’s enough? Why? Will one more conversation cure it? Will 5 more years numb it out of me? I need to stop being spoiled and ungrateful. BE GRATEFUL! You have the world in your arms every night, so why do I feel so far away? Why do I feel like he’s chasing me, trying to catch me, why does he look so sad, like he’s never had me?

Oh my god, he’s never had me.

I’m lost. I’ve never felt so fucking disappointed in myself in all my life. I’m an awful person for feeling unhappy in my rock solid marriage. The stake has turned into a jackhammer and I’m disappearing. There’s barely anything left of me. Pebbles everywhere quickly turning to finely beaten sand. Where did I go?

And then I looked up, and there she was.

Motherhood is a Spiritual Experience

klm_8093

I don’t care what your faith is, what color you are, what shape you are, or what language you speak. Whether a higher power has always been present in your life, or you believe your destiny is solely based on being a good person who does the right thing to the best of your ability. It never changes the greatness and unparalleled experience of motherhood. If you believe you’ve never had a spiritual experience in your life, and you’re a mother, yes you have.

If you follow me, you know I didn’t grow up in the church. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a faith. I’ve always had a faith. One of my earliest memories is when I asked God into my heart as a young girl. It was an awkward gesture, one that I would never classify as “bad,” but one that never felt natural to me by any means. I couldn’t tell you why it didn’t feel quite right, but I spent much of my early childhood going through the motions for other people’s approval.

And although I wasn’t sure about God, or who my higher power was, I’ve always been spiritual. I’ve always felt connected to something, I just didn’t know what it was for a very long time. Today if you asked me what my connection to faith is, I’d tell you that I’m incredibly connected. I’m connected to the most inner parts of my soul. I believe in a higher power. I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe I’ve experienced the greatest parts of these moments through motherhood.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my children and told them, “you saved my life.” I’ve whispered it in their ears as they laid skin-to-skin on my chest after giving birth. I’ve whispered it in their ears as I watched them while they slept. I’ve whispered it in their ears as they lay fevered in my cooling palms. I’ve told them directly to their faces, watching them attempt to understand what I could possibly mean by that statement, “you saved my life.”

Wandering this beautiful disaster of a world we live in, without the connection of motherhood, I was reckless. I was on a blind path heading toward a destination unknown. I was searching for purpose, connection and reason. I was a good, decent person, digging for truths and answers, never understanding that most answers could never really be found in the places I was searching.

Once I began growing life in my womb, a flame was ignited. I felt an incredible responsibility to take this job as a mother very seriously, spiritually. I grew a little being by the natural capabilities of my own body. I brought that being into this world, and nurtured it day and night. I became connected to an extension of my soul. I created a purpose. I created life.

If that isn’t a spiritual experience, I don’t know what is.

I’ve carried that responsibility with me every day as my experience doubled. I’ve been allowed to mother two incredible souls, who I believe, chose me. This daunting road of motherhood has taught me more than I ever thought possible. Love, and lessons. I don’t believe I would be half the person I am today had I not become a mother when I did.

This blind bliss of motherhood has answered every question I’ve ever had. This magical experience has kept me connected to my faith, my destiny and my own spirituality, because I could never look at motherhood as anything more than the most gigantic, challenging, test of willpower, strenuous, euphoric, overwhelming miracle that I’ll ever have the chance of experiencing. When we become mothers, we become reborn. We shift, we transcend into another part of ourselves. We adapt, we survive, we protect, and it’s innate. We love with no bounds. There’s no end, there’s no beginning. This is it. This is what it’s all about. That feeling. That love. That never-ending, unconditional, heartbreaking love. That is motherhood. And that is spiritual.

Don’t Tell Me Halloween is Just One Day Out of the Year

img_7684

If you’re a parent, you’re hyper-aware that Halloween isn’t just one day out of the year. No. We WISH it was, but no. Halloween isn’t just a tutu, a mask, or a simple costume, no. It’s practically its own goddamn season.

Halloween begins at least 4 weeks before October 31st. If you’re really festive, maybe a few months prior. Moms everywhere ask, “sweetie, what do you want to be for Halloween this year?” It can take anywhere from 2 minutes from the time you asked the question, to 2 minutes before it’s time to go trick-or-treating for children to make a solid decision.

Sometimes mothers begin making costumes (yes MAKING them) only to have their sweet offspring change their ever loving mind just as the last stitch is sewn in the seam. It’s a defeating feeling, but one mothers aren’t foreign to.

Sometimes children claim to have “told you a long time ago” what they want to be but we know that never happened, but we have to pretend we have it under control. And it becomes a shit show resembling the game show, “Supermarket Sweep” but in real life (I’m dating myself), except at Halloween Express, and Party City, and Target, and Walmart, and K-Mart, resulting in Amazon PRIME (RUSH THE FUCKING COSTUME HERE RIGHT FUCKING NOW, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD) shipping.

Don’t even get me started on the candy situation. It shows up in Target the same day the Pumpkin Spice Latte is brought back to Starbucks, and moms everything begin spending 4 days a week in Target ranging anywhere from 9am to 2:33pm (because it takes exactly 12 minutes to get from the Target parking lot to the kids’ school pick up lot). It’s bad on the wallet, husbands everywhere are pissed that we needed more “deodorant, or make-up wipes again,” which is actually code for “I’m going to Target to buy whatever the fuck I want because I birthed kids.” So we end up leaving Target with 2 more bags of Halloween candy, a throw pillow, a new coffee mug (because you promised you’d try to start kicking your Starbucks addiction and make coffee at home – HA yea right!), and one last Starbucks coffee.

The candy gets eaten in less than a week because it’s that time of month for mom, or the kids act like they didn’t know it was for Halloween, or mom acts like she didn’t know it was for Halloween, or it’s Wednesday. We don’t need to throw blame around, the fact of the matter is, we WILL go through at least 6 more bags of candy before we actually buy the candy that will be given out on Halloween night. That’s the way it’s always been, and it’s the way it’s always gonna be.

The school Fall Festivals are the nail in the coffin for me. By the time I’m done spending my WHOLE weekend running around to all the different schools, playing all the different games, eating shit food, collecting plastic spider rings and rubber bats, and spending all my fortunes on DONATING to whatever fucking school fundraiser it is this month, I’m ready to kiss Halloween’s ass GOODBYE.

But no.

We still have to have costume day at school. So we do a dress rehearsal if you will. Then our children decide that they don’t want to wear that costume on Halloween night after all because the velcro on the back is too itchy. So we scour the land for another costume and all we can find is a Power Ranger costume that is 5 times too big, and $40 too much from the local Halloween Shack. Mom becomes desperate, buys it and cuts it up in order to make it fit. Kid smiles. yay.

Is it over yet?

Nope.

Halloween night arrives. Parents everywhere see the light at the end of the tunnel as the whiny, sugar induced goblins begin to crash somewhere around block 3 from the house. As parents carry their overloaded chocolate consumers for blocks while lugging around the 50 pound pumpkin bucket full of sugar, sleep feels so close…

But once you hit the front porch, the kids fall out of their costumes and into the candy bucket. Or better yet, some just sleep in their costumes as they hug their bucket, fearful that the candy may disappear over night like last year (and parents deny they had anything to do with it).

And for the next 10 days our children are demanding to get into their costumes again and again and again. They’re demanding to eat dessert after every meal, for every snack, or in substitution for every meal. It’s a fucking nightmare. And this is why parents have no choice but to eat the candy while the kids are in bed. It’s called sacrifice.

Halloween is not just one day out of the year, no. Halloween is the beginning of the holiday season that sends every parent into bankruptcy, panic and insanity. But fortunately, there’s chocolate all season long.

Until next year, Halloween. I thank you for the chocolate left behind and the pictures I’ll blackmail my kids with in the near future.

PEACE!

I Know Why the Seasons Change

image

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

 

Feeling lost as an adult can be one of the scariest feelings. Pack on motherhood, marriage and all other grown-up responsibilities, and it’s all I can do not to crawl back in my mother’s womb or beg to be swaddled and rocked.

Have you ever felt lost? Or maybe without direction?

It’s confusing, because as mothers and parents, we are supposed to know who we are. We are supposed to identify with being a parent first and foremost, right? But what if we don’t? What if we love our role in that aspect, but don’t identify the way society says we should? Then what?

Am I an awful mother? An awful person? Selfish, maybe? Insensitive?

That’s been my life’s journey and quest. To find ME, while in the trenches of motherhood and marriage and career and responsibilities and obligations. I imagine it’s been many of yours’, too.

It’s been a series of successes and torments, one right after the other. Searching for something I think I need, getting it, then realizing, “nope that wasn’t it.” Struggling on the inside while keeping every fucking ball in the air on the outside. An exhausting juggling act that was layered with good intent but lackluster results, at least as far as my happiness goes.

Acknowledging my failed efforts to achieve contentment on the inside was something I was good at doing but terrible at doing anything about. Because I lacked direction on which way I wanted to go. Torn between many different worlds without a clue on how to merge them together.

The struggle was REAL.

That is until I got real. Real with myself and everyone around me. Real about my needs. My REAL needs. Real about my desires and real about my ultimate goal in this life, which I’m not gonna lie, took some serious searching for.

And then it was as if I woke up one day and knew what I needed to do. So I did.

I began to say no when I needed to say no. I stopped engaging and entertaining people and interactions that no longer brought me joy. I only did what I could, without feeling guilty about not doing what I couldn’t or just simply didn’t want to.

I decided to only be authentic. Being authentic to myself and to others, immediately set the tone and foundation of every relationship that began to form, even with people I had known forever. I no longer tried to be something I wasn’t. Yes it was freeing, but also terrifying.

What if I lose friends that I want to keep?

What if people don’t like me?

What if people judge me?

What if I cuss too much?

WHO GIVES A SHIT! Became my motto. And still is by the way.

But I became more humble in a way I never had, and intensely GRATEFUL. Grateful for the people who I chose to have in my life, and especially the ones I chose to dismiss from my life. Because they were my teachers. They were the ones who helped guide me down a path I either wanted to go, or wanted to steer clear of. How would I have known if I hadn’t tried?

I needed the experience to know any better. But now that I do, it’s my responsibility to stick to what’s right and good for me. That’s the only way to stay on my path and get to where I’m going.

I didn’t understand why I was feeling lost, or why I didn’t feel like myself. I thought, “I must be doing something else wrong among the slew of my other shortcomings.”

Once I found my contentment by staying true to me, I finally understood why things happened the way they did, and why they always do.

It was a season in my life that was necessary for my growth. Like all the seasons before it. It doesn’t  last forever, it will never stay the same, and it will always change. Because we are always changing, growing and expanding.

Most lives are made up of so many beautiful and heartbreaking seasons. We’ll always have those favorites to look back on and smile. The ones to look back on and say, “wow I learned so much that season.”

And the one we’re in.

I’m currently in one of the most liberating seasons of my life. Maybe that’s why they say it just keeps getting better.

Maybe this is all a part of the process of growing up and growing older.

Wherever I am, whatever this is, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. This season is stunningly beautiful.

 

 

 

 

The Great Expectations of Motherhood: Getting Out of Our Own Way

KLM_8681

I’m not ashamed to say that motherhood has been by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The day to day struggle of taking care of little ones while trying to take care of myself, it’s an exhaustion no one could have prepared me for. Late nights, early mornings, midnight surprises, the physical strain is taxiing to say the least. It can feel like running a marathon on empty.

But there’s another kind of exhaustion I’ve allowed myself to bear. One that probably could have been avoided if I’d known better. Before having kids, I decided what kind of mother I should be. I packed a bag of expectations, adding to it every chance I got. Watching other parents, judging other mothers, sifting through memories of my own mother and all that I would have hoped she’d done differently. Why did I do this? I guess I desired to give something to my children that I didn’t have, and hoped everything would fall into place the way I planned. Maybe to prevent myself from failing or falling flat on my face.

When I got pregnant, I strapped that heavy bag of expectations to my back and carried it around, opening it for anyone who wanted to look inside. Sure, I got some looks of, “good luck with that,” from people who were already parents, but I knew what I was doing. Or so I thought.

As I became a mother once, and then twice over, my full bag became tattered with gaping holes. Things falling out all over the place. I struggled and spent more time trying to pick them up and place them back just where they belonged than I did enjoying the process, but nothing ever stuck. Something was always dropping and all I felt was defeat, and failure.

Why couldn’t I succeed in carrying this load anymore? Why was it so hard for me to be and do all of these things for my children? What was wrong with me?

“I” was wrong with me.

Comparing myself to others, to my own mother, where was that going to get me? It wasn’t working for me or my family, and something had to give. I decided to put the bag down, and go through it like we go through old pictures from the garage or attic. It was startling to see all that I expected of myself, and even more startling that I hadn’t yet realized what an unrealistic task I was putting on the shoulders of myself and my family.

It was heartbreaking how hard I was on myself day in and day out. I was never going to be this mother, even if I tried with every effort I exerted. It wasn’t humanly possible. So why the disappointment when I looked at myself in the mirror? I mean, motherhood was hard, yes, but it was also the greatest joy of my life. Looking at my boys, I saw happy, compassionate, well-rounded kids. So what’s to be disappointed about?

I didn’t have an answer, because the only person who ever told me I had to be all of those things to everyone else, was myself. Just me. No one else.

Sure I felt pressure from society in many ways to do it all with a smile on my face, but I knew better than that. I knew that’s not how mothers really felt, and any mother I saw trying to tell me different, I was calling bullshit. So why expect those things of myself?

I shouldn’t have. But fortunately, it wasn’t too late.

I think we all dream about how we’ll be as mothers and parents, and with that comes expectations. Some healthy and realistic, and some not so healthy or realistic. What I needed to do was throw out every single unrealistic expectation, take it to the dump and never look back. But also keep the realistic ones that represent my morals and values, and a few to strive for.

I did just that. Because I’m not perfect. I don’t want to be prefect. I think there was a time where I did want that, but I realized quickly that it’s neither rational, nor possible. I had to get the hell out of my own way, and praise myself for all of the things I was doing right and succeeding at.

I put those expectations on myself, and I had the power to take them off. We all do. I feel so much lighter. I feel so much more accepting of myself. I feel accepting of love from my children without question of whether I deserve it or not.

I hope to pass this on to my sons as they embark on parenthood one day. And I look forward to sharing my journey through the great expectations of motherhood with my future daughter-in-laws, so they can love themselves for exactly who they are.

Because the only thing that has risen, met and surpassed my expectations, is how much love a mother can carry. It’s limitless and unbreakable.

 

 

To My Best Friend Just Starting Her Life, The Best is Yet to Come

13329347_10154216931524520_3952895222301193005_o

My best friend is getting married in less than two weeks, and I couldn’t be happier for her. She’s waited patiently for this moment. A moment that feels long overdue with fate’s fingerprints all over it.

Over the course of 13 years, we’ve been inseparable. We’ve been through it all together and to see her finally meet her prince and start her life with him seems surreal. There were many moments and circumstances where she thought it just wasn’t in the cards for her. But I always knew different.

I’ve always known how special she is. She’s beautiful, funny, kind, generous, independent, forgiving, witty, responsible, and the list goes on. I know what you’re thinking, it’s the same thing she always thought, that I’m saying all of this because she’s my best friend. I promise that’s not why. Ask anyone around her, she’s truly a catch and one of a kind.

Once she figured out what she deserved and decided not to settle for less than the best, she met him. Her soul mate.

She’s found the one. She feels “home.” She feels complete. She feels whole. And in a way, I feel complete because her happiness is my happiness. Her life with him is just beginning.

As I’ve walked through the engagement with her, I’ve relived so much of my own journey with my husband. I remember what it was like to have that sole intense love between him and I. That yearn to be with him or at least have him near. That feeling of bliss and endless possibility. I remember how incredible that felt. I use to feel bad for others who didn’t have that happiness, because I was literally the happiest woman alive.

That is my best friend. She’s the happiest woman alive.

I remember the excitement of anticipation in starting a family. Would we have a boy or a girl first? What would they look like? What will we name them?

It was a time in my life where nothing or no one could take away my joy. Not as long as I had my man by my side.

And so here we are, best friends. Standing at the edge of her new beginning. I’ll watch as she leaps in head first, submerging herself in her soon-to-be husband’s love. He’ll take care of her and comfort her, and give her the world. I know he will.

I’ll be there for the heart racing phone calls about whether this month will be the month she conceives. I’ll be there for the phone call where she tells me she’s pregnant. I’ll be there to give her tips and tricks on how to make the first few months of pregnancy less barfy. I’ll be there to love on her bump, to talk about what her sweet bundle will look like and be like. I’ll help her prepare for labor. I’ll be there to hold my sweet friend’s newborn baby in my arms.

I’ll be watching from the sidelines as my best friend begins a beautiful journey with her new husband.

I’ll be there to support her through the sleepless nights of new motherhood. I’ll be there to let her know it’s normal for a baby not to latch properly right away if she chooses to breastfeed. I’ll be there to recommend formulas if she chooses not to. I’ll be there to support her through the terrible twos and even more terrible threes. I’ll be there to empathize with how hard motherhood is, and tell her it gets easier. I’ll be there to share all of my parenting wisdom when she asks for it.

As I look at all that is to come for her, I miss this moment she’s experiencing. I miss it so much. It’s a small window of magic that we never get back. Where we’re filled with hope, joy, and anticipation for the future. It’s the rev up to the most exciting part of life. New life. And while it’s the hardest time, it’s also the best.

It’s where we realize we never stop learning. It’s where we learn the most about ourselves. It’s where we get to relive our childhood and see the world through our own children’s eyes. It’s where we are tested time and time again, only to shock ourselves because we survived. It’s where we understand our mortality more than ever. It’s where we accept that we aren’t perfect beings. It’s where we wonder how we ever got so lucky.

It’s pivotal. She’s getting ready to experience it all, and my heart is exploding with excitement for her.

And although I won’t be there day to day the way I once was, I’ll be there. In every way I can, I’ll be there.

So, to my best friend who is just starting her life, I’ll forever be in your corner, I’ll forever be your biggest cheerleader and I’ll always be your shoulder to cry on. I’ll be right here.

So get ready, because the best truly is yet to come.