7 Days of Tears
I’ve always been a pretty emotional person…but with everything going on, for many reasons, this week has been a bit more tear-filled than most. Over the last 7 days, I’ve kept a log of the events in my life, and in the world around me, that brought tears to my eyes. Call me a cry baby if you must, but this is real and raw and who I’ve been for the last 7 days.
Tomorrow, we will put our youngest son back in daycare. For the past 6 months, both my husband and I have worked from home. We’ve juggled and shuffled and coordinated and planned ahead, because we weren’t happy with the daycare he’d been in. When it was made possible for my husband to leave his position, and work from home, we didn’t hesitate! So, here were are, half a year has gone by and we’ve seen our little boy grow little by little (and sometimes by a lot!) each and every day. It ends tomorrow. Our older son, he’s 7, never went to daycare, so this has been a new experience for us even though we aren’t new parents. This time around, our daycare options weren’t so limited and we are no longer new to the “neighborhood.” Confident that we are picking the right place for us, it’s still a bit of a sad occasion. Even though we didn’t love our experience the first go-round, he was much younger and it was easier because back then he didn’t understand separation and he couldn’t express that he was feeling anxiety…now, he can. So although our pediatrician sends her daughter to this facility, and everyone we’ve met who has sent or still sends their children here has given it rave reviews, I still weep just a little because I know that tomorrow is going to be a hard day.
Today was a double header. I dropped off our little one, and of course it was easier on him than it was on me…until I went in to check on him during snack time. He cried, then because I didn’t want anyone at the facility to know that perhaps I am a bigger baby than my 19 month old, when I got back to the car, I cried. Later on that evening, I did a video shoot for my church, explaining why I joined. The invite was extended to all members, and even though I made it through the video clip fine, I broke down behind the scenes after the camera stopped rolling. You see, when I talked about my upcoming baptism and the overwhelming sense of feeling at home in this church…there was no way I could have prevented the waterworks.
A glass ceiling shatters, before my very eyes. This isn’t supposed to be politically driven; in fact it’s just a day in the life. And honestly, I’m actually quite content most days to discuss politics only in the privacy of my home and with the wonderful ladies whom I’ve gotten to know virtually (shout out to the wonderfully brilliant ladies of Debate & Shit, some of the most intelligent women on the planet IMHO) through our pretty tight group on Facebook. I don’t care who you support, if you are a woman – or a father to a daughter, or grandfather to a granddaughter or an uncle of a niece…if you weren’t moved by that visual, then you truly don’t get it. Almost 8 years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. As a first time mom, so many things scared me during that time. I vividly remember (and anyone who is a parent knows just how uncommon crystal-clear memories can be; if you’re not a parent, just Google “mom brain”) dropping to my knees and sobbing when the 2008 election had been decided. Our next president would be a black man. The joy and hope that I felt in that moment was indescribable. What would it mean for my son to grow up in a world where a man, who looks like him…a man who looks like his father, holds the highest office in the country? It meant that he would be born into a world where he could be ANYTHING he wanted to be. It was the first time in my adult life that I had been forced to think about the future in the context of what life would be like for someone other than myself and I think it marked the first step toward discarding selfishness from my life.
So, today, even though I have sons, not daughters, I felt a twinkle of that same feeling of overwhelming hope. I imagine what mothers across the country were feeling in the moment that Hillary R. Clinton was introduced at the DNC…how incredible this moment must have been for them, despite their political affiliation. It was historical and yes, a tear (or two) were shed. Pure happiness.
My character was attacked today and I did not see it coming. I should have….because when the grass is tall, you should be wary of snakes. Because it is work related I can’t go into detail, but if you are familiar with the feeling of being so angry that you LITERALLY bite your tongue to guard against what you actually want to say…then you might also be familiar with the angry cry. I held it together at work, but afterwards I sank into the emotions I felt: betrayal, a little bit of shock, frustration, anger, and I drowned myself in a glass of Pinot Noir and cursed and cried and drank.
My husband and I watched a clip we came across on social media. It was graphic, displaying Emmitt Till’s beaten body. His mother addressed a crowd of supporters with elegance and grace. One of the comments read, “How was I not ever taught about Emmitt Till? I feel as though I am seeing history repeat itself.” I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up. Though I refused to blink, they fell. One after the other, 4 times. I blinked and wiped my face. My husband gently placed his hand upon mine.
I woke up to a text from my dad this morning; he sent it at 5 in the morning. I live in northern Virginia, he lives in Florida. Although our relationship isn’t strained by any stretch of the imagination, for many reasons that make a lot of sense, I haven’t seen him since before my 19-month old was born. Imagine my surprise when I wake to discover how many Facebook messages and comments I missed from the night before and instead find this: “Brit call me this morning. I love you.” In place of the word love was the heart emoji. My dad uses emojis? I immediately call him and in the groggiest of voices, manage a “Hey Dad, what’s up?” while wondering what the heck could actually be up. What’s actually up is that my dad is IN northern Virginia in a wild plot twist of events, and he was here to surprise me. Remember what happened to me on Tuesday right? The double header…I cried when I talked to one of the pastors about my upcoming baptism…this Sunday…as in tomorrow. My dad will get to see my be baptized. This is HUGE for me, because my dad wasn’t there when I was born so it is super emotional and amazing that he gets to witness my rebirth. It’s probably no secret, I bawled.
I am so comfortable with the feeling of anxiety. I know that it means to feel unrest about the future, or about a future event. What I am feeling today is very different…it’s anticipation. It’s excitement without the element of worry. It’s quite calming, in all of its frenzy. Today is the day that I, at age 30, will be baptized for the first time ever. I’ve made the decision to surrender my life to God, and to relinquish control. I’m not saying it was a difficult decision, but it’s important to note that for most of my life, I have behaved like the typical “control freak” and “know-it-all.” In trivia games, or as a child in the classroom, I could barely contain my composure when I knew I had the correct answer and would bellow it out with no shame. So today, I am so at peace with knowing that from here on out, I am not in control and I don’t have to stress out over having all the answers… So as I stand there, waiting behind the altar, I am excited. My heart is racing. My eyes are welling up, but I’m holding it together. The pastor holds my hand and guides me from behind the altar and we walk out in front of the congregation. The lights are dim and behind me on the screens is the testimony of another woman who will baptized at second service. The pastor gets into the water, and then, signals me. The film clip ends, and the spotlight shines on us. The church band begins to play “I am a Child of God” and he whispers “By your confession…” I don’t hear anything else. I completely slip away (it honestly feels like I am floating above myself) and although my eyes are open, everything is a blur. I reach up to cover my nose and shut my eyes as he dips me back and I plunge underwater. In real time, it lasted a second or two….but I stayed underwater for what seemed like half an hour. Thanking God for giving us His son…thanking Jesus for accepting my sins, all of our sins, as His own. I emerge and open my eyes. I cannot control my body as I begin sobbing with overwhelming relief and gratitude. It was an incredible feeling, and for the rest of that day, tears well up into my eyes every time I think back to my baptism hours before. I know, without a doubt, that I will never be the same.
So yes, technically, this is titled “7 Days of Tears” and today is the 8th day. But there’s something really special about today too…earlier this morning, my best friend and sister-from-another-mister texted me, “Happy 1-Year Anniversary.” Shockingly, it had completely slipped my mind but today does indeed mark one year since I decided to take a leap of faith into something that terrified me: a network marketing opportunity. If you had asked me 13 months ago if I would ever consider joining a network marketing company, I probably would have laughed in your face (I know, thank the Lord I decided to surrender my soul for saving). But look at me now, celebrating my first year as a beachbody coach. This past year has been my testimony that God will show you just how much can change in a year; just how much can change by taking a leap of faith; just how much you can grow by simply changing your mindset; just how thankful you can feel for simply saying yes when you would have otherwise said no. To me, it is so symbolic that on August 1, 2015 as an overweight newlywed living in a new town with no friends I made the decision to try something that I had mocked before…and exactly one year later (to the day, because technically with 2016 being a leap year, the day I was baptized fell on the 365th day) I am in the best shape of my life, I’ve been born again, and all the insecurities I suffered through – if you need a refresher on where I started out, you can read about it here: ( http://suburbanmisfitmom.com/when-i-was-faking-it/ ) – no longer shape how I see myself. I am more alive today then I’ve ever been, and if you couldn’t have convinced me 13 months ago that I’d be HAPPY with a network marketing company, then you definitely wouldn’t have been able to convince me that I’d find myself competing in a BEAUTY PAGEANT! But here I am…this has been, truly, the most transformational year of my life. With my 31st birthday less than 2 weeks away, I cannot imagine what’s in store.
I’ll tell you one thing though…I’ve been looking ahead all day today, as I’ve reflected back, and I haven’t shed a single tear.