This is your story and mine. This is who we are.
You know fear. No, you know pure terror.
You have discovered unimaginable joys.
You feel everything. Intensely. Completely. There are days your soul catches fire. No emotion is beyond you.
You will always be parenting without a net.
But it can be done. It is being done. Every day.
We are doing it.
We are angry at an unjust world. We get furious that no one else seems to understand or care. We pound the dirt and fling it at the heavens hoping that there is some benevolence out there who will listen.
We balance our lives on the edges of knives. We can pull life itself out of meat grinder with our bare hands. We’d volunteer to have our arms ripped off if it would make our children’s lives better. We walk out into traffic to save them. We die a thousand deaths every time they fall apart. We fight back like caged animals. We are parents protecting our young.
We celebrate achievements large and small with complete abandon. We cry at a single, new word. We rejoice upon a smile. We turn into a puddle with a warm touch. We cheer with the voice of a thousand stadiums. We wear our pride everywhere.
We are fighters. We do not quit. We do not forget. We are relentless. We may end up on the ground, but we get up. Every. Damn. Time. We will not yield. We will not compromise. We will not surrender. Not ever.
Our faith may be shaken, but it will be reborn, however often we have to. Our strength will come from somewhere. It always does.
When we fall over and despair that we will never be able to stand again, we gather ourselves, we push against the ground with all our might, and we make it again to our feet. Getting knocked down isn’t the story. It’s the getting up somehow, no matter what, that matters most.
We believe. We believe in our children. We believe that their future is up to us. We are their champions. We proclaim the wonders of our amazing children, and one by one we convert the world. We speak for our beloved children who cannot yet speak for themselves. Whenever we crumble into silence, the very stones of the earth will cry out on our and their behalf until we can speak again.
I want nothing more than to tell you how this story ends, but I cannot. None of that is written yet. The pages ahead of us are blank. But I do know one thing. We have one hell of a story to tell.
Tell your story. Tell your child’s stories. Bear witness to all the beauty, pain, wonder, adversity, and possibility. Tell them what it’s like to savor each word your child learns to speak aloud. Tell them of every hard-fought step it took to get there. Tell them of the days you are scared mute and you don’t know how you will make it to another sunrise. Tell them what it feels like to rejoice when your child’s face bursts with light when they finally climb over their mountains of challenges and achieve the once impossible. Tell them about your child’s smile. Tell them of your pride.
Tell them everything. Speak of the wonders you have witnessed. Every. Last. One.