Inspiration of the Self-Reliance 30-Day Writing Challenge

To celebrate Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday (May 25th, 1803), Self-Reliance urges us to trust our intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.

Beginning on May 31st, 2011, The Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance website*** will post a daily prompt. This will continue for 30 days.

This is my unique creation of personal reflection and responses, based on those prompts.

***See link below for the site.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


DAY 13

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?

Although I’ve surprised myself on several occasions, there is one in particular that stands out.  Being a parent – a mom – was something that frightened me.  As a young girl, while many other young girls were thinking about growing up and becoming a mom, I was fairly certain that being a parent was not for me.  While other young girls were babysitting, the thought terrified me.  How could I ever change a diaper?  What would I do, if my child became ill?  Just so much responsibility overwhelmed me. 

So, you can imagine my surprise – and my trepidation, when I became pregnant with my first born son, when I was only 19 years old.  He was born ten days after my 20th birthday. 

Somehow someway, my maternal instincts took over.  As difficult as it was, it was a joyous feeling that cannot be explained.  Still frightened, I just knew I had to accept the responsibility to care for my little baby boy.  Although it was a struggle over the years, it was worth every moment.  I’ve watched my little baby boy grow into a wonderful man of whom I so very proud.

Fifteen years after Chris was born, I was dealing with the usual teenage “stuff”, when my stepdaughter had just moved in with us (oh, goody – another teenager!).  Never in my wildest imagination did I ever expect to give birth to another child.  So, it was quite a shock to discover I was pregnant again at thirty-five years old.  After giving birth to another baby boy, I was faced with the maternal duties once again.  I survived it once, so I was sure I could do it again.  And, I did, watching another baby boy grow into a wonderful man of whom I’m so very proud.    

But, yes, there were challenges – many challenges along the way.  Being in a dysfunctional marriage, having two teenagers learning to drive and a baby in diapers, was not easy for any of us.  But, we survived it, each of us better for our experiences.  And, although the marriage didn’t continue, this family grew together in surprising ways.

Although I had “thought” I never wanted the responsibility of parenthood, it’s been the biggest reward ever.  I have never once ever regretted having the opportunity to be a mother.  I am truly blessed, and so very grateful for my two boys, as well as my stepchildren, spouses of my son and stepchildren, and our very precious grandchildren.

Gratitude fills my heart for each and every one. 

Most importantly, I survived motherhood, and am still pleased and delighted to be called Mom and Grandma.

This would have to be something I had not thought I was capable of doing, but certainly surprised myself at the outcome.

With regards to the other question in the prompt –
“How will I surprise myself this week?”

I have absolutely no idea.  I’ve learned not to look ahead, not to look back, but to do my best to stay in each one now present moment.  Therefore I will not even attempt to speculate what my next surprising moment will be.  But, I have no doubts, there will be more this week – and next week – and for as long as I breathe. 

Doing things when we doubt our capability is always a rewarding surprise. 

Let's try not to become so involved with everyday routines that we miss out on recognizing our surprises - and how we accomplished something we didn't think we could.

1 comment:

  1. My step-daughter had her first child, a boy, six months before my first child, also a boy. She was 17, and I was 32. My daughter was born three years later, and she had her daughter a year after that. It took me a long time to accept my role as grandma, when I had children the same age! But I have been so blessed when I finally realized how important that relationship with all of them was to me.