125 – An Open Closing

Today marks my 125th blog post! With the help and inspiration of 99 Moms, I’ve posted parenting tips and commentary for 125 consecutive weeks.

Since my first post in November, 2016, I’ve walked through an inferno of fear, insecurity and self-doubt. I’ve battled a booming and powerful internal dialogue of mockery and disbelief. I was afraid, very afraid, of ridicule, gossip, errors and judgment.

I was pretty sure not one person gave a shit about what I was writing or doing, yet I pushed on. I focused on the goal and that quieted the chatter. I reminded myself of the intention and was distracted from the anxiety.

Now, 125 weeks later the flames are lower but it still gets hot. My internal dialogue exists but it doesn’t own me or determine what I do. I am still afraid, but I know there are a lot of people that do give a shit. My intention is what matters. I want to share my experience and leave a legacy, while encouraging others to do the same. So far, it’s been worth the push.

As a result of ‘the push,’ my book is available across the country. I’ve been on local and national news, and on the cover of two newspapers. With the help of 99 women, I’ve realized my dream! I am now a writer, a columnist, an author. Fear almost prevented it all.

With still so much to say, a conclusion seems premature and an ending impossible; but as with all stories there must be an end.

I contemplate how to succinctly summarize all this book has become and all it means to me, my life and my legacy.

Writing 100 Moms brought me to many memories of my grandmother, Anna Mae Bailey. Did you ever wonder what happened to your grandmother’s recipes?  I remember Nanny’s pizza and her blueberry pie. I don’t have those recipes. It’s unfortunate I can’t bring forward these wonderful dishes and that memorable piece of who she was. I was too young to know the value and the limitations of time.

I wish I had had the insight to ask. I wish someone had tucked those away. I wish my grandmother, my Mom, or my aunts would have known they’d be important.

For me, this journey has been one of collecting recipes. It is a collection of our parenting ingredients. Together, we have taken the time to preserve, protect and share our learned lessons, values and beliefs. We have given our best.

It has been an honor to be a part of such love. I am proud to be among these women and am forever thankful they have trusted me with their words.

This book is a collection of the offerings which created strength in me, “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men {and women}.” Truly, I’ve received resources from everywhere.

I’ve been to food banks, resource centers, libraries, playgrounds and churches. I’ve used government programs such as day care subsidy, clinical therapy, income assistance, an opportunity to return to school and an employability project. I’ve attended parenting groups, made new friends and eventually began to listen to my Mom. All available resources were used.

This book is a testament and a credit to my helpers along the way, the many before me clearing my path in large and small ways. This is a gesture of gratitude, a humble attempt to pay homage to those who contributed to my every thought, rule, lesson, opinion and single grain of courage.

This is a thank you to my “village” and a gift to my “tribe.” This book represents their life’s work, which has resulted in my life story.

While my life story will continue to unfold, it is time to begin my next project – 100 Dads 1000 Tips 1 Million Reasons. I am so excited to share the beautiful words of many men, who are also eager to be a part of this work.

I hope you’ll continue to follow along, and invite Dads everywhere to join in. I look forward to sharing more on what parents are thinking and feeling about life’s most precious journey.

To be continued…

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