Finding Commonality in the Cracks this Holiday

I originally had wanted to write with the intention of sharing about how holidays aren’t easy for all children. For some kids, especially those who have experienced trauma, holidays can be down right dreadful. Then, just when I had put pencil to paper (yes, I can be pretty old school like that), my mom was diagnosed with a pretty serious health challenge. Honestly, we’re still in the throws of the beginning phases. I quickly thought about how that will impact me as a daughter, sister, wife, and mother this holiday season. Fraught with emotion, I thought I should change the direction of my post.
But I wondered, if you don’t have kids who have experienced trauma or if your loved one wasn’t recently diagnosed with a major health issue, would you care about the words I write? As a human, I’m sure you would be empathetic, but would it really resonate with you or touch your heart? 
I then thought about many people that I admire and respect all from whom I differ. Like my sister who is working full-time and raising three young children. Her obstacles look radically different from mine this holiday. And a new friend, who has lost both her mom and dad this year, just birthed a newborn and faces the holidays for the first time without her parents. I don’t share her experiences or challenges this season. Or my loving friend who is yearning to be a mother again; I don’t share her struggles in this season of life. 
So many wonderful moms surround me and honestly none of us are going through the same things. And yet, in some ways, we are all going through the same things. I feel so close to these women. Why? It’s in the cracks the emotions, the feelings, and our state of mind. 

So, when I see a mom of a newborn who hasn’t slept in weeks, I will recognize our shared exhaustion and yawns albeit stemming from entirely different situations.

When I witness a mom at her wit’s end with a screaming child, I will recognize our shared feeling of despair. Or, when I see a mom with her head hung hopelessly low, contemplating where she went wrong, I will recognize our shared self-doubt. If I hear a mom speaking with impatience on the brink of explosion, I will recognize our shared feeling of being at the point of no return. While a mom is stopped at a red light and I see her briefly close her eyes, I will recognize our shared need for momentary silence and escape. And, when I see a silent tear falling down the cheek of a loving mother who’s facing hardship and the unthinkable, I will recognize our shared hope for a miracle. 
At the same time, when I hear pure joy in a mom’s voice talking with her little one, I will recognize our shared love of being a mother. When I steal a glimpse of a mother’s smiling eyes at her child, I will recognize our shared pride and unconditional love. When I notice the soft touch of a mom’s hand running over her child’s back, I will recognize a shared connectivity for another human whom we treasure more than life itself. And, when I see a mother smothering her child with kisses and tickles, I will recognize our shared feeling of pure joy and excitement.

The cracks are the everyday emotions and expressions that glue all of the big stuff together, the challenges and struggles mixed with the celebrations and dreams realized.

I hope to continue the mindfulness of searching for and appreciating the commonality in the cracks this holiday. Whether your child has a special need, someone you love is facing substance abuse, your parent is fighting a terrible battle, you can’t keep up with the exhausting act of balancing work with family, or whatever you’re facing, I see you. I am you. We are together in this.
Standing alongside all of the strong women and mothers in my life especially my mom– has helped me realize that while we’re all very special, our challenges aren’t terribly unique. My holiday wish is for grace in how we see each other and ourselves.
I’d love to connect over on Instagram


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