hello 2012

Hello 2012,

It’s nice to meet you. I’ve felt you coming, noticing changes stirring inside of me. Now that you’re here, though, I’m left wondering how your friend 2011 just vanished. I’m left with these glimpses through words + photos + fuzzy memories of the good stuff of 2011. Although, I can’t say I’ll miss the whole of 2011 any more than I’ve missed 2010, 2009, and 2008.

I’ve realized sometimes years can be tough. There are tough patches in life, difficult times, moments that become months, turning into years, where we simply survive. We get through. We march on. We make the best of it. These times can drain us of energy and charisma and sometimes, they even alter our personalities, sucking away the very traits that define us.

For me, this tough patch began with the adoption of our daughters in March 2008. They are precious children and I am forever grateful that they found their way home, even if it was after they started life. I learned long ago I can’t control the way a family is made. I’ve never once questioned whether Hannah and Stephanie were made for our family. It is evident they are. I have questioned whether I was a good enough mom for them. The years piled up, forcing me to bend and twist and sacrifice.

I was beginning to worry that perhaps the way becoming Hannah and Stephanie’s mom would forever change me was by permanently losing some of my favorite traits that make me who I am. I tried to console myself — people change, it’s okay. But still, where did that carefree, creative, happy-go-lucky, ready to tackle the next challenge, race to the top of the next hill, spread her arms and spin girl go? I miss her.

You know that girl, don’t you 2012? Your friends, the previous years, they didn’t bring fresh starts with them. I like you better already, because not only have you brought a fresh start, you’ve also brought pieces of me back. Amazingly, I’m finding they still fit, even though I’ve been twisted around, becoming the mother I was commissioned to be.

I just met you, 2012, but I already know you are going to heal me from the years of refining, adjusting, and accepting. You are the friend who kneads the past with the present, shaping me into the person I am called to be.

Thank you isn’t enough,

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  1. I just loved this line:
    “You are the friend who kneads the past with the present, shaping me into the person I am called to be.”
    The readiness is all,isn't it? Sometimes life happens to us, and then we finally find ourselves responding, crafting new selves which embrace and cherish our old selves. Good luck in this happy new year, Ruth!

  2. I have started a comment 3 different ways, but can't find the right words to express my thoughts after reading and rereading this piece. I can only say, wow and thanks for sharing a part of yourself.

  3. Sometimes we make changes for survival & not always in a negative way, it just seems that's the way it happens, & then we climb out of it to renew our true selves. That's what I'm hearing from you Ruth, that you are greeting the year with such hope. I enjoyed the way you created the conversation with 2012, welcoming it, gentling it almost. Every word was heartfelt, & I made note of “You are the friend who kneads the past with the present, shaping me into the person I am called to be.”

  4. Your post reminds me of the short story Eleven by Cisneros because she talks about turning eleven and still being 10, 9, 8, 7, and so on, within. Your post definitely rang true with me, and I found myself wondering if what you're feeling is just a natural part of what we experience in parenting. We change in order to provide what is needed for others. It is lovely that the Ruth of yesteryear is reappearing again.

  5. How do you get so much of YOU into your words? I am always enamored with the way your words seem to pulse with the energy, with the emotion you instill in them. There is an honest, humble, strength about this post that leaves me breathing with happiness that you are feeling closer to who you are, who you always have been, and feeling the healing power of the new year within your soul. There are so many lines to celebrate, so much YOUness in these lines to celebrate. Thank you for being open to sharing these pieces of you with the rest of us.

  6. Wow, Ruth – I love this post. I remember when I had Luke I was 28. Chris and I had been married for six years. I grieved for a few weeks, I felt that I had lost myself, then felt awful for that. Then a friend came by and told me she felt the same way. What relief! I still long for parts of the old me but as my boys get older, some of that person comes back. Glad to hear 2012 is treating you well already, you deserve it.

  7. Ruth, what a transparent post; I feel like, by reading it, we just had a coffee date together. Thank you for offering us a window into your heart. I echo your feeling that some years take bits and pieces away from our hearts…and I'm energized to know they can be reclaimed; it just takes time. 2012 you are the friend who kneads the past with the present!! [It's our year!] Wishing you blessings :).

  8. It seems I am not the only one you have touched with this post. I think in a way, all mothers grieve for the part of themselves they think they have lost. It isn't really lost, just put away for awhile while they find a part of themselves they didn't know they had.

    And, I don't know about the others, but I have questioned many times if I was good enough to be the mother of my sons—I know I wore the “Worst Mother in the World” crown for many years. But I was the one who placed the crown there, not the kids.

    All of it makes us who we are, who we grow to be. And sometimes, that's a better person than we would have been…

    Thanks for sharing this piece of yourself with us….

  9. what discerning and honest and beautiful words–that surely reflect a discerning and honest and beautiful heart. i feel richer for having read this.

  10. I always said it takes a special person to adopt. You are special, Ruth. Your journey to adopt wasn't easy from the start, but you persevered. You are a better you. Your family is better because of you. You will meet up again with that same girl you knew, and you will have a full grown family to celebrate with you.

  11. Ruth-
    Wow! I could definitely identify with you! Where did that tough, strong, self-starting, can-do gal I used to be wander off to? Don't know if this parenting thing is soooo hard, or if it's harder because we are parenting kids who have had to overcome sooooo much. What a post!

  12. I love that,” those pieces that still fit.” We don't ever shake the good stuff that is part of the definition, “just mix the past with present” – awesome words smithing in this post, Ruth. Such a great reminder.

  13. Love this post and also love that you are finding that the bits of you that you thought were gone are still there, woven into the new stuff that's you too. Maybe the new stuff just had to be moved to the front burner for a while before you put it all back together again. 🙂
    Happy New Year!