I'm attempting another writing exercise, this time from the sisters over at Momalom. Today's topic is Courage.
I do not consider myself a brave person.
I'm scared of lots of things. There is the silly stuff that terrifies me, like big hairy spiders (okay, even the small bald ones) that crawl across our ceiling and, if my husband doesn't immediately squash it, I'm positive it will descend on its silken string and investigate my ear drum in the middle of the night; scary movies, especially if they deal with paranormal creepiness; mayonnaise; the sight of my hair after it air-dries.
Then there's the BIG stuff: Something happening to my husband or, heaven forbid, one of my kids; dying before I see my kids grow up; dying at all; not being a good enough mother, wife, friend.
I have courage. I know this. Even though I might like to say things like,"It had to be done, I had no choice, if I can do it, anyone can," the truth is, we always have a choice, and not everyone can do what I've done.
We need to give ourselves credit and for once say, "Yes. I was extraordinarily brave." Even if the person next to us has done that very thing a million times - before breakfast. It's not about other people. It's about us, stepping out of our comfort zone and facing our fears.
It's not always about the grand gesture. It's the little things inside each of us, the small victories.
Here are some of my moments (and for some reason, I keep hearing the Cowardly Lion snuffle, "Courage!" after each of these):
Hauling my exhausted body, clad in extra-large sweatpants, to a new mom's support group when Sawyer was seven weeks old. I'm not a joiner, but I knew I needed to get out of the house, no matter how awful and embarrassed I felt about myself.
Going to a Team in Training meeting, thinking I'd sign up for a half-marathon, and ending up registering to run the whole 26.2 - and then doing it. Twice.
Telling my OB that no, I would NOT be getting an internal every week after my 36th week of pregnancy. Learning that this society has a very effed up perception of childbirth and deciding I would take control - as much as I could. Having a surprise home birth and then, with X, a planned home birth. No drugs. None needed. I learned I am far stronger than I'd imagined.
Advocating - again and again and again - for my son due to his peanut allergy. I don't like confrontation, but I will do it - EVERY TIME - in order to protect him, no matter what his teachers or other parents think. Even if my heart races and my stomach hurts and I have to see their eyes roll.
Watching that son disappear into his kindergarten classroom for the first time and not rushing the door to hug him one more time. Letting X run on his unsteady feet, because you have to let him go, even if you're sure he's going to take a digger.
Writing my truth. This is by far the most courageous thing I do (other than raising my children). Words, once out there, can't be taken back. I write things that maybe other people wouldn't: my ambivalence about my pregnancy with X, that being a mother sometimes really sucks, about my tummy cellulite. I speak up for those who don't. Or can't.