Saturday, October 27, 2012

My daughter, my swimmer

My daughter competed in  a swim meet today. 
We have done this before, several times.
But always, always, there comes a moment
when I am awed, inspired, amazed
at the wonder of this daughter of mine.
Today was no different
I watched her, as I sat on the timers' bench (a front row seat)
She stood beside her teammates, lined up
ready to take her turn to climb up the step
onto the platform, and dive in.
I watched her standing there,
tall, thin, fair-skinned
in her yellow and black swimsuit
her shiny black swim cap snug on her head
her last name bolded in white capital letters on the side
her goggles, white straps around her head, blue-framed on her forehead,
her hands twisting back and forth, her arms swinging
stepping from foot to foot
as she tried to get the blood pumping,
her nervous energy used to rev up
she cheered her teammate on,
she took the steps to the top and leaned forward,
bouncing on the balls of her feet
her arms never stopping their swaying motion
the judge looked at my daughter and I saw her through his eyes-
a competitor, an athlete-
my baby girl, my katie may
my eyes filled with tears
as my heart filled with pride
there was my daughter-
a young woman
a competitor
an athlete chasing her dreams
fulfilling mine.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dreams and courage

  On a day like today, when I am feeling down on myself and wishing I were more outgoing, more friendly, more creative, more talented, more sociable, more patient, etc., I find myself aimlessly wandering facebook and blogger.  I find myself reading a blog by a friend who is wishing she had the courage to live the life she wants.
And then, I realize, I have courage.  And finally, my depressing and pitiful mood changes as I realize that I am courageous.  I may not be achieving all my goals, and I may not have changed the world yet, but I am not done.  I may need to be more- (insert something here)- but I am many good things.
One of the things I often find myself doing is dreaming up new goals, new ideas, new things to do and places to go to add to my list. And, as I think about it, I realize that I don't make "wish lists", I make "to do" lists.  SO, I am going to torture you (if you continue to read) with some of these endless lists I keep in my brain.
Things I have done:
I am there for my children every day that I possibly can and be there for them every time they do something amazing, every time they fall, and support them in everything they do.  My current mission:  I will be at every horse show my children compete in with their drill team.  I will not miss a single swim meet of my daughter's.  I will not miss my boys getting Scout medals, pins, belt loops, or patches.  I will be there.
I want to help couples become families. I am at two families, three babies so far, and I am not done yet.
I want to live a life where I can be me. I spent many years in a world where it wasn't safe to be me, so I make sure that I am being true to myself.
I want to spend my life with a man who loves me and supports me in all these wild adventures I want to have. I am.  He does.

Things I am doing on my "to do" list:
I want to travel the world.  I am, slowly, but surely, travelling every time an opportunity presents itself.
I want to have a beautiful home to share with my husband, my children, and more children.  I have a nice one, but I am looking for a new one every day.
I want to give my children everything I had that was beautiful and good, and everything I didn't have that I think they should have.  I am doing my best every day to give them those things.

It is sometimes mind-boggling to try to keep up with all the plans I make in my head every day.  I want to do so much more than I am:
I want to get in shape and be able to run a marathon like my father has.
I want to foster or adopt children in need.
I want to open a crisis pregnancy center with no political or religious view- just helping girls do whatever is best for them.
I want to be an advocate for surrogacy.
I want to be a CASA (Court appointed special advocate for children)
I want to be an advocate for gay rights, equality, and marriage.
I want  to write a novel, but can't seem to wrap my head around the right topic.
I want to stand as an example of Christ so clearly that His love can be shown through my actions.

It is not enough for me to be mediocre.  It is not enough for me to have simply lived.  It will not be enough, at the end of my travail on this earth, to say, "life was good."  I want more.

I want, quite simply, to change the world.

I just need to find a way to do it during the course of the day where we:
Wake up
Take K to swim
Come home, get ready for work
Kiss boys and husband, go to work
Work all day (this should really be about 12 lines with work capitalized)
Pick up K
Come home to T and B
Homework, papers, read notes, read novels with children (Or run all over town to activities, depending on the day)
Make dinner
Clean up
Run around town to all of our activities (or do homework, check and sign papers, read novels with children)
Come home, get ready for bed
Read with my children / Watch a family show together
Collapse in exhaustion and go to sleep

I feel like the man in the famous poem by Robert Frost, "but I have miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."
Life is short.  I have my oldest child for only 3 1/2 more years.  There is no time to live in doubt or fear.  There is no time to wait for the right time.  There is only time to enjoy every moment because- I have learned at least this one lesson- you only get it once.  No moment ever returns the same way twice.  I love my life.  It is my life and I choose it every day.  I may lack many things, but I am no coward.  I will never back down when I can step forward.  I embrace this life, the challenges, the smiles, the sorrows, the blessings, and I plan to live every moment of it with gusto.
Courage.  It's everything.  And after many years, it is mine.