But say it isn't so, and I'll stop smiling, and I'll agree with you.
I come here to write funny stories because I enjoy practicing the art of writing and touching stories because I've invited our families to read here and stories of frustration because I am only human, after all, and I can't always manage as well as I'd like. I come here to document my childrens' lives and my unfolding motherhood experience because without sounding cliched or saccharine, this is the most wondrous thing I've ever done; they are my most amazing accomplishment. (And my lovely husband's, too, of course.) It is, they are, wholly mind-boggling. I come here to write because I want to remember it all. I want to encircle it and encapsulate it and preserve it for ruminating on again and again, when I am white-haired and they (perhaps) have children of their own and this will be the chronicle of my works.
Do you ever think: 'I wish my great-grandmother had blogged'? Without grandiosity, maybe by offering evidence of their lives, this is my legacy to them.
I have never minded a challenge, even a terrifyingly impossible one, if I understood the parameters of the exercise. One of my parents' favorite stories they tell of me is that my "progress report" in nursery school stated that "Robin needs to know all the rules to all the games before she'll play." That three-year-old lives strong within me. I have patience for some of the hardest parts of parenting: the tantrums and the stall tactics and the willful boundary-testing. I can parent right through the hardest parts of right now. What I cannot do is plan sufficiently for the future. I cannot guarantee that I can protect my babes from bullies or predators or the unveiling of bad draws in the DNA lotto. Having three kids in four years looked, from the outside, like a crazy thing to do in the minds of many but it never scared me at all. It's the future, the outside influences, that skip my breath and blanche my soul. And that's what this week's posts were about.
I may not be able to protect them, but I can use what voice I have to show them that I'll speak loudly for the things I believe, that I'll love them no matter what, that I'll always listen, that I'll always, always support them.
You know that my lovely L, we often call her Ladybug. In full we call her Lady L Ladybug and she always answers to a call by that name, unless she yells at us, No, call me firefighter! which sometimes happens.
On Sunday, after we went apple picking we drove a mile or so across the farm to go pumpkin picking. While we scrutinized each and every orange globe for the perfect symmetry, size and flush of color to please my two discerning daughters, a moment happened in which, suddenly, they were both quiet. A long afternoon in the sun had loosened L's pigtails and a lock of hair fell across her face, a tiny one, maybe just four or five strands thick. A ladybug landed on it and clung there, it looking down at her, she squinting and crossing her eyes to look at it.
It's me!, she said quietly and with careful movement, inviting the small creature to stay awhile.
Well, it's not really you, corrected her elder sister, who at almost five has developed a fastidious need to be correct and be correcting.
But L disagreed. It IS me!, she asserted, with the gentlest foot stomp a ladybug hostess could possibly assert.
And in the sense that ladybugs are symbols of good, that they bring hope and smiles and thoughts of luck and the future and prosperity, maybe indeed it was.
I'm bowing out of the soapboxing for now, but if you've enjoyed exploring causes that need our support, let me suggest that there are always more. For example, we're still in October, so that means you still have plenty of time to celebrate National Spinach-Lovers' Month. Thank you, my readers, my friends, for telling me publicly and privately this week that my voice matters. What a funny medium this is, that you, a state over, and you, half a country away, and you, up and across the continent and the border, and you, clear across the globe, and all of you, you've come to mean so much to me. Thank you.