Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Catching a shooting star

Dear Jadyn and Liana:

I've known for a week that this letter was coming your way. But, it's taken six days to get here, to this point when I could write it with confidence, with honesty and with peace in my heart.

You see, I really thought that I had this motherhood thing all worked out long before you even arrived. I didn't think I needed to meet you to know how life would be with you here.

I was wrong. I'm making it all up as we go. I might pretend some days to know more than others. There other times, like this week, when I look like I do not know what I am doing at all. In some cases, also this week, I might seem like I do not want to be here at all.

I do, though. Very much. Maybe even too much, which is why I rarely leave your sight.

I whisper in your ears all the time that I will never leave you, always love you, here for you always. And, I mean it. I mean it more than anything.

It is with all of this in mind that I tell you today that I will be returning to work full-time later this summer, I will drop this life we've created together and bring us back to a new starting point where we don't know which way is up.

I do it not for me. I do it for you, for our family. Because I know in my heart it is the right thing to do. It is so. There is nothing to question other than leaving you in the care of others and I'm going to put my faith in this as well.

I've been reading about Personal Legends just for this purpose. I'm still learning, trying to figure out what my personal legend is and why I've been tapped for this job right now when I wasn't even looking beyond today's spilled milk.

You see, this job is not just a job. It's a chance, an opportunity to be a part of trying to make the world a better place for you. For your right now. For your tomorrow. For your friends tomorrows. For when you become a woman, a wife, a mother.

And since jobs like this do not drop in a chocolate-stained mother's lap often, I know enough about personal legends, serendipity, life's chances and luck to know that I should grab this opportunity and go with it. I'm going to ride the wave holding on tightly to you as I flow along, making it all up. If we end up at the end standing side by side with a rainbow ahead of us, then we'll know it was right. If the ride is too bumpy or too scary or too wrong, we can fix it and get things right back to where we are now, where everything is the same and changing all the while.

The funny thing is that to this very week in my life, everything was planned out perfectly. Things didn't always go as planned, but many things did. Some things, including your father and you, came a little later than I planned. But, it all came and I always felt I helped made it happen. But, this week, I actually realized that it's only been with the help of the universe that I've been able to reach these treasures.

It's a curve ball, for sure. I thought you and I would grow up together. And we will; I'll just be letting you grow up with some other people as well. I know you will thrive; I saw it in your eyes today playing with your friends Noah and Logan in a bucket of water. You need to be around other kids; to learn the silliness of childhood, learning to dunk your head in to life and blow bubbles -- things I couldn't make up if I tried.

Everything I've become since the day you were born will remain. The essence of our family, of our souls, the connection we've built will still be here each morning when you wake and each night when you lie down for sleep. We'll cram everything else -- all the art projects and field trips -- into all the other parts of the week.

Basically, I'm throwing it all out the window, hoping that someone in charge of this life will hang on to it all and keep us safe.

Thank you for visiting today.

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Eva said...

I'm sure a lot of thought went into this decision, and thus it must be the right one for you and your family. Sounds like a great opportunity, and I'm sure the girls will thrive with new experiences.


Well done, it really will be okay and the girls will thrive.

LauraC said...

I'm glad you found the right path! Can't wait to hear the details of this new job and the new adventures your girls will have.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Good luck, Shawn -- and good for you!

InTheFastLane said...

What a tough decision. My oldest was in day care while I finished college and it was WONDERFUL for her. I really think it gave her quite a bit of an edge when compared to my 2nd child who was home, mostly just with me. My third, has a little bit of this and a little bit of that and except for the mommy guilt, all three are doing great. You make the best decisions you can and try not to look back.

Shannon said...

I don't know why this just made me tear up, it's not like a surprise or anything. I guess I just know how hard this was, but in the end you will all be sharing with the world parts of yourselves, and two little girls will be learning independence and how it feels to be safe even when mom's not there. That's a good lesson.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and thank you, thank you, for giving me the perfectly timed proof and encouragement to trust life as it unfolds.

The world just got bigger, I mean smaller, I mean bigger. What's the difference? It's good. And your daughters will see that too.

village mama said...

Wishing you all the best as you switch gears. XO

justagirl said...

Your words made my cry...

I think you will find that this will be a gift for your girls as well as yourself. What a lovely letter for them when they are older.

I thought I would be a great stay at home mum, but it turns out I just wasn't, I am a better mum to my children working and thats ok.

take care


lesleysmeshly said...

I'm glad you found your way. I can't wait to hear all about your new job! Good luck and congratulations!!

writermeeg said...

Oh, Shawn, yes, the universe does have its ways of pointing us where we need to go, when we listen! Congrats to you for your decision! I can't wait to hear more about what you're doing, too! Hugs...

marta said...

It's all good. Your daughters are wonderful and will still be wonderful when your at work. Congratulations and let us know how it goes.

The Dad said...

shannon, it made me tear up, too, and i helped her talk through the decision. it's amazing to think it's happening already, but this will be their first little steps toward independence. Mama has done a good job getting them ready.