If I were asked to describe myself, I’m not sure that I’d include the word “brave.” It’s not that I think I’m a total chickenshit or anything. I mean, I wipe up poop, catch vomit with my bare hands, convince Tucker to let me cut his nails on occasion, and kill spiders with the best of ‘em. I try new foods. I’ve been skydiving and scuba diving. I’ve been in a graveyard, in New Orleans, in the middle of the night. Ok, fine, that one was more drunken stupidity than bravery, but still. I survived.
In reflecting on bravery, I realize that all of us are brave and powerful. Every day.
Each time that we reach out to make a connection with another person, knowing that we may be rejected, requires bravery. Walking into a party full of people we don’t know. Learning a new skill. Asking for help when we need it. Offering help. Reaching out. Admitting loneliness. Fear. Facing the hard signs of aging and feeling blessed that we have them because too many don’t. Those things. They require bravery.
I have done many of those things. And yet. Do I have a Very Bravest Thing? I don’t know. Here are some moments that come close.
Walking away from a marriage that was no longer good for either one of us. Having faith that I’d find love again.
Saying goodbye to the life that I built, grew into, and made mine. Packing up, moving, and creating a brand new life 2,600 miles away from my comfortable one.
Meeting Robert. Trusting myself when I knew, on our first date, that I’d marry him.
Becoming a mom, regardless of the odds being against me and the papers that had “Advanced Maternal Age” stamped across the top. Making it through bed rest. Pregnancy. Birth. Allowing myself to believe the doctors and nurses at the hospital when they told me that we’d be just fine.
Taking my baby boy home. Trusting myself to be enough. To do enough. To not drop him on his baby head. To protect.
Walking into Early Intervention for Tucker’s first evaluation. Not falling to my knees at the end of it. Moving on. Getting help. Enduring further evaluations. Hearing the word “autism” for the first time. Telling my friends. Telling my family. Telling myself.
Dropping Tucker off at school for the first time. Driving away. Later, putting him on the bus. Not following it. Trusting.
There seems to be a common theme here. Trust. The very bravest things that I have ever done involve trusting myself. Trusting the universe. Trusting life to be okay even when it’s unexpected. Even when it hurts. Even when it’s better than I ever thought possible and not allowing myself to worry about the unknowns. The future.
Believing. Believing that I’m enough. That this is enough. That we’re all here on purpose, and that it’s all enough.
Trusting is the bravest thing I’ve ever done.
What about you? Do you have a very bravest thing?
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence is “The bravest thing I’ve ever done is…” Next week, its “The hardest choice I ever made was…”
And now, it’s time for me to give away some money! Whoot!
I’d like to thank each and every judge who was kind enough to read through all of the wonderful and amazing comments on Finding Ninee’s One Year Birthday Post. Some were hilarious. Some were touching. Others were a combination. All were beautiful and appreciated.
To each of you who commented last week – thank you. You’re all winners in my book. I was honored at how many of you said that you didn’t want the money and simply came by to wish this little blog a happy birthday. Too bad you didn’t ALL say you didn’t need the money, ’cause now I’m writing some checks!
Also, I’d like to say that I did not vote in this contest. So, if you’re annoyed that one of the following winners beat you, please go complain to each and every judge. They’ll like it.
Anyway! Without further ado! Oh. One more ado. Remember winners, based on official rule #7 – this is not a contest about giving money to X charity. You should donate regularly to the causes you believe in. I do. This particular contest is about YOU. What you’d do with the money. Please be selfish and do what you said you would, were you to win. Which you DID. Whoot (again).
Third prize, which is $25, goes to the wonderful and amazing Chris Carter of The Mom Cafe for this hilarious comment:
Well first of all, I am “almost first” to comment, so that should give me an extra point!!
And secondly, I work tirelessly on my little ol’ blog and haven’t made but a dime and spare change, so it would really be neat to pretend I make money blogging- my mission? Reaching out and encouraging people…that is the dream I pursue. I can say I made A HUNDRED BUCKS and no one needs to know how- it’s connected to my blog someway, right? Then my dream is fulfilled: I am “legit”.
And thirdly, I think you are freaking amazing and quite frankly, all of those judges I see up there are the elite of the bunch… so just them reading this gives me goosebumps and smiles, and I’m content just being a part of this blog world with you. (I mean that- I’m not kissing up to get the money… really.)I am an email subscriber too! (YAY for one point!!! If I don’t get any points, at least I got one!! lol)
Second prize, also $25, goes to Janet Ochs, for this touching, beautiful comment:
Happy Birthday to your blog! It’s been extremely helpful to me. I do follow it regularly!
I’m not really good at the quick witted stuff. So, here’s Just Me!
Beginning with a Speech Pathologist telling me that my son’s speech delays weren’t “just” speech delays last November, this past year has been really rough for me. It’s been a year of endless tests, stress to the nth degree, ridiculous comments from “specialists” and other people in my life who just didn’t get what you cleverly refer to as the middle world – no diagnosis, somewhere in between. He doesn’t fit into a mold – he’s just – Chris. He’s smart, funny, sometimes stubborn, but definitely unique. I’ve struggled with finding the “right” school and therapies to best benefit him, how not to affect my 2 older typical daughters too much (sometimes not very well at all), running a house, etc. I have an MBA but gave up my career to be a stay at home Mom. That turned out to be so beneficial for this process. This past year has been spent in survival mode, but I have survived, largely thanks to an extremely supportive and understanding husband.
The thing is, I almost never do anything for myself these days. I often have guilt for putting myself ahead of anyone or anything, especially if I have to spend money to do it. I would use this money for me – maybe a pedicure, getting my hair done, or something like that.
I can’t say I deserve this more than anyone else. Everyone has their ups and downs. So to the people who win – you deserve it and I’m happy for you!!!
I should mention that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Janet in real life. Her son has some similarities to Tucker, she reached out, we traded some information, and then during an visit to her son’s potential new school, she heard a teacher say the name Tucker. She asked whether that was my Tucker. It was. Small world, right?
And the comment that got the very most votes was crafted by Dana, from Kiss My List. Here is her $100 answer to what she’d do with the prize money:
I deserve to win because I have made a grand total of $0.82 doing this blogging thing so far. I am meeting you IRL next month and I need the money to get a manicure and a cute outfit so you won’t be embarrassed to be seen with me. I also subscribed to your blog, which I rarely do, but you are that awesome. Also, I was showing my 12 year old your post so he could see I was judging, and he caught the words “kissing penis.” So now he thinks I read porn all day. The $100 would pay for his first therapy session.
Congratulations, winners. Please contact me to make arrangements to receive your prize money.