They are exactly who they are for exact reasons. One hides often and the other throws things a lot. They balance each other out and are just exactly perfect exactly how they are.
They are good friends, our boys. Every mother wants her children to stay friends for their lifetimes. I'm no exception. I hope they will always put their heads together to find answers and stand up for each other. We all need someone who is always on our side.
There are so many exciting things happening for us these days. Our family is in an entirely different place than we were even one year ago. And even with all the changes and so much on our family platter, Ryan and I can still so often be heard saying that we want more. No, not more stuff, more children.
(I can see my Mom shaking her head right now, as she did last night, saying Not now, Honey...you have so much going on.)
(She's probably right.)
(The rebel in me, I'm embarrassed to admit, wants to have a baby right now because she said that.)
(Don't tell her.)
The reality is, my Mom is almost always right about such things, and I'm okay with that. We're here to tell a beautiful story no matter how many members there are to our family. When I spoke on Saturday, I was asked if I ever worry that one day I'll look back and regret having shared our story so publicly. My answer? Maybe. But I can't worry about that right now. Because right now, I'm striving to do the next right thing, moment by moment, day by day. And for now, when I see the beautiful things that have come from my transparency, I'm nothing but grateful.
I'm never going to be an expert on alcoholism or motherhood or being a wife. But my heart is here, telling you about my experience with it all because this is exactly what I should be doing. Somehow.
I know it is because I have a piece of paper taped to my computer with lists of names on it. I write names in pink sharpie and I stare at the growing list and I'm humbled by its magnitude, by the words from emails I will always keep to myself. These lists of names tell me that, for now, what I have said here is helping. That's exactly what I know for today. And that's not because of me, but because of honesty.
Honesty is exactly what we all need. To live honestly, telling the truth to ourselves and others, whether that be public or private. In my case, it's becoming more and more public, and I'm exactly okay with that, today. If tomorrow's heart-gut tells me to stop, I will. I will walk away having spent a season doing this hopefully helpful thing I'm doing, and then I will move on and I will still be here with my exactly perfect boys and our story.
The reality is, our story is exactly as it should be, whether private or public. It is ours alone even if it's also yours. And I don't know how that's possible, it just is. Maybe because we are this family in this moment, and our connection is felt and then savored by only us in so many ways, no one else could possibly fully know or feel it, and that's what makes it private.
All I know for sure is that I never set out to be known. When I was in grade school, I did not tell people, when I grow up I want to tell everyone I'm an alcoholic and then get a book deal and show up in the media. Nope. I didn't. But here I am, navigating an unfolding public ride, one I chose and did not choose.
Yes, I'm okay with that. Because what I did tell people, when I was a little girl, was that I wanted to grow up to be a mom. And I am. That's what I am. Exactly.