once upon a time I was wild and wonderful. I was the kind of girl that brought the party, I was the kind of girl who when I introduce myself to people they said “oh you’re Kaylin”, I was the kind of girl that pictures are painted for and road trips are taking four. I lived life each day and savored each experience for all it had to offer. The good, bad, and the ugly were all acceptable experiences to have in my book so long as they were real and raw.
I miss that girl. I miss waking up to a day of endless possibilities. I long for the ability to follow a path just because I don’t know what is on the other side, or just because I want to.
I don’t think societally we talk enough about the grieving process that a mother goes through as a child is born. We are asked to put down our wild and wonderful selves. We are asked to essentially put away the parts of us that most likely attracted our partner. We are asked to cultivate the exact opposite parts of ourselves that led to this very moment of motherdom. It’s hard, and it’s sad, and it’s fraught with emotional controversy, and lack of understanding by the man with which we had these children with. I have to say that I am married to a very emotionally and spiritually mature men. Yet he still does not understand the amount of sacrifice of self it takes to be a mother. Every day I put a hat on and it doesn’t feel like it’s my hat, and it’s certainly not a hat that I bought for myself. It’s a hat that I put on to prepare myself to give up every ounce of my being from my children every single day. And I am a firm believer in self care (more to come on that In future rants). However self care as a mother fits into one minute meditations, split second deep breath’s, making yourself your own damn piece of peanut butter toast with honey. It has to fit into the moments in between hair pulled, things broken, food needing to be made, butts needing to be wiped, the endless barrage of tasks that need to be done to ensure the safety and security of three super small people.
And I’m not saying that the wild and wonderful part of me is gone forever. Maybe it’s just taking a well-deserved nap. Or maybe it’s a waiting in a chrysalis to burst forth in some sort of like more mature wild and wonderful butterflies that it was before. I know that those days will return for me, but that doesn’t take away from how difficult it is to put that piece of myself up on the shelf.
So I guess the thing here is really about how do we still cultivate the wild and wonderful parts of ourselves in a harmonious way with child rearing. Is it enough to create lasting memories that nurture me and my children. Is it bark boats sent down streams, is it salamanders caught through fast acting fist and squeals of delight, is it collecting the milkweed seeds to make fairy beds in holes in trees, is it going to fast while sledding down hills, is it seeing how many kids will fit in your kayak? Is it just a matter of redefining what wild and wonderful means to me? Can I be the baddest mom in the schoolyard, going to make the best damn cookies for a bake sale, can I raise my children in such a way that they grow up to be freethinking and compassionate individuals, can I be a woman whose husband is still attracted to her, can I inspire other people to be a better versions of themselves? I am pretty sure I can and will do all of these things but the second I can I will take down my wild and wonderful box from the shelf, and I might not need all of that for my current life but I think it might be nice to find little pieces of the woman I was then and use them to cultivate the woman that I will become.