Bravery show its face in all types of shapes and sizes. I did something that felt crazy brave recently. The rush I felt at its completion was incomparable. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt proud of ME for something I’ve done. I’ve given birth twice, and feel immeasurably proud of my sons at various times and for various reasons, but I’m not strutting around 9-years postpartum reminding my husband that I not only incubated his clones but also DELIVERED them, surgically once and the old fashioned way once–both painful in their way (OK, it’s possible that when my husband whimpers about a hangnail or some such malady, I do get a little, um, I PUSHED your son through a very small portal, pal, and you were all, oooh, I’m so tired, I think I need to take a nap while updating ME on my contractions as you sleepily glanced the monitor from the couch). Sorry, took a bit of a detour there. My point is I can’t exactly stake a claim on continued pride at something that happened eleven and nine years ago. Millions of babies have been born since mine; it’s not like I own childbirth. In the past two weeks, three people from diverse corners of my life have each relayed to me this message: If you’re comfortable, then maybe it is time to do something that rocks your status quo. They probably didn’t say “rocks your status quo,” but that was my takeaway. I finished something that felt brave from start to finish. I can say, “I did that.” I did that all by myself. Yay, Wendy.
My little guy’s bravery manifests on the pitcher’s mound–the field of dreams last year was a field of terror for him. This kid has grown by, I don’t know–what’s bigger than leaps and bounds?–on the diamond. He has passion and desire for the game. This year, he’s not leading the league in HBP at-bats. He hits, he pitches, he plays all over, and the thing of which I feel most proud? Other moms telling me that though he’s nine, their sons look up to him. That he’s helped their child build his skills, feel confident, feel like part of the team. He’s brave; I’m proud.
My big kid’s bravery manifests in therapies and at piano recitals. He is a good performer, my big kid. He thrives in front of an audience, has just the right amount of nerves to succeed up there. Sometimes that audience is a roomful of strangers whose kids are plinking through their semi-annual recitals like he is, and sometimes that audience is me, and a PT or OT. In these arenas, he is a performer, and does astonishingly well. He DID get back up on his bike last week, bruises and gashes and all, and we breathed a sigh of relief. That was brave; I’m proud.
I’m going on a little road trip this weekend. Heading to Ohio to see my favorite band, meeting up with some of my Tribe, the Ladies ladies. Nowhere near as nervous as I was on my Ohio trek last May, but still, not a typical Wendy-thing to drive across four states, so yeah, brave is making its appearance in a minor role. There’s a pretty awesome payoff for this small feat of “bravery.” Piled in the midst of some concert memorabilia, I found a note I’d left for my boys on my way out of town last year–
I know this road trip seems a little nutty, but I hope you see me as a little braver for having done it. Some of my friends think I’m silly to make this trip, but it’s something I enjoy immensely. I want you to continue to pursue the things that make you happy like this does for me. Even if it seems silly to others, do what you like to do. No one can take your happiness away from you, and no one can tell you what it is that makes you happy. Happiness just is. Music is that for me. What do you think it will it be for you?