As the summer comes to a close, I've been thinking a lot about parenting. During the mad rush to find and sign my girls up for summer camps I can recall being so thrilled that the age range for most of the camps was such that they could be together. In addition to saving me extra trips running them to different areas of town, I was reassured that my eldest could look after my youngest and they would find comfort in each other's company. Approximately two weeks in I discovered my error - it's absence that makes the heart grow fonder. Togetherness just makes us all batty. Lesson learned. Purposely scheduling my daughters to spend each and every day of their summer vacation within spitting distance of each other inspired, well, spitting (think feral cats).
I was honored today to be given a "Courageous Blogger Award", courtesy of Eileen at A Life of Triggers . I am not sure I am all that she describes me as, but I'll sure as heck try. The award is given for "bloggers who are battling or have battled with physical or mental illness, those who are survivors of abuse, poverty or who have overcome other challenges in life. Those who serve in the military or work/volunteer in dangerous situations in order to provide a service or to help others. This award is for the strong, the brave and the courageous." Wow! First let me thank Eileen for her generosity in passing this along to me. Next let me express my utter dismay at having to choose one other blogger (and only one) to pass this on to. So many of the bloggers whose writing I routinely read fit this description. Many of them are mothers who are parenting children they did not envision having, those with autism or autistic spectrum disorders, foster children versus their own biological children, stepchildren they 'inherited' as the result of a marriage, children who suffer from mental illnesses, children who are relying on their mothers to be their sole parent, the list goes on. I cannot express the respect and admiration I have for these women who have not only found ways to cope with the challenges they are presented with in their daily lives, but who have discovered, within that struggle, a place of love and acceptance. A way to honor their children's unique abilities and traits and spotlight them. A way to share their difficulties and triumphs with other mothers who find themselves exhausted and frightened by their daily lives. These blogs can be found along the right side of my blog page under links and are daily reading for me. They are truly a balm for my spirit and serve to lift me up day after day.
However, in order not to avoid rising to the challenge of nominating another person whom I feel honestly deserves the title of Courageous, I will pass this along to my friend at Identity Crisis. At a stage in her life where most of us prefer to shut the door on any ugliness that exists in our past, especially if we find ourselves somewhat financially comfortable and possessing a few friends with whom we can enjoy ourselves, Suzy bravely decided to open the door. Despite many second-thoughts and a good deal of fear of the unknown, she plowed ahead and has confronted those demons, excellent sense of humor in hand. Suzy jumped right out of her comfort zone into another time zone completely and immersed herself in pursuing a better way of life. Not necessarily trusting that the outcome would be pretty, she began opening up and has shared her process with others, a feat that is brave in and of itself. Her witty,descriptive writing touches chords in me that generate ripples of love and compassion and for that, I am grateful to her. Suze - here's to you!