It’s been quite a week my sweet boys. This lady has had ups and downs, fights and tears, gasps of disbelief and moments where I thought I would burst with joy. It’s also been a week where I have seen the two of you with more clarity, like I have actually looked at you. Little One, your brown eyes. I could fall into them and swim around for days. Your laugh and mischief and grab-life-by-the-cojones attitude makes my heart soar. And Big One, you have an infectious laugh and a quick wit; a depth of soul beyond your years. Sometimes in the night I lay down in bed with you because being next to your even baby-breathing is the salve for my racing mind. You made me a mother; you made me who I am today.
I found out this week that someone that I respect a tremendous amount, and really see myself in, has breast cancer. She’s young, smart, and a mama bear like me. Through all of the noise around me, I just kept thinking: her babies. And I kept hearing this voice whisper inside of me “your one wild and precious life.” Shit, we only get one. Like, I know this. But something is clicking for me now– we only get one. I have a feeling that I am going to need to do hard things with mine; to be humble, genuine and true. I am going to have to dig deep. I know I can do this; I know I can do ANYthing with you guys around. (Well, not pee alone, or shower alone, or sleep alone, or ever eat a meal without saying the words “food goes in your mouth not on the floor/dog/ceiling/brother.”) Boys, I need you to really, fundamentally, soulfully, in your bones understand that we get this one chance. This means that you need to live the most authentic life that you can. You must find the thing that makes you tick, that makes that pounding in your chest swell; makes the alarm bells go off and the adrenaline pump… and you must follow that thing until you own it live it breathe it. You must go places where you feel a little bit uncomfortable and challenge people who say mean things or act unjustly. You don’t have to do what the rest of your friends are doing; though that might be the easiest choice, it’s not the wisest. If you have art inside of you, let it out. If you want to see far corners of the world, go. If you know you need to do something to change your world, make it happen.
My solemn vow to you as your mother is to be solidly in your corner as you do all of this. I might push you out of the nest a little if I think that’s what will do you the most good, but I will support and honor your choices. I will march in your parades and always be the first to clap and the last to leave the grand orchestras of your lives.
“What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”
Tell me boys, what will you do?