928 Miles of Vulnerability

I’m leaving my baby girl for the first time since she was born—cue every emotion under the sun. Yes, I know, she’ll be a year in August, and it’s my FIRST time leaving her overnight. When I say it out loud, it sounds pretty pathetic. Seriously, Mikayla, cut the dang cord. Truth is, I’ve been pretty comfortable doing the mom and wife thing this past year and never felt the need to leave or get away until recently. You can bet I feel vulnerable right now as I print my boarding pass and travel 928 miles to Texas.

Vulnerability. Let’s talk about it. What thoughts come to mind when you think about being vulnerable? If you associate the word with fear, weakness or danger, I’ve been where you’re at.

What does it mean to be vulnerable? Could it possibly be a good thing? One of my all-time favorite books is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I could read it a thousand times and learn something new with each read. She challenges the stereotypical understanding of the word and pushes her readers to be vulnerable every single day because it’s a good thing.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weaknesses.”

Holy crap, Brene. You said it.

Truth is, leaving my baby makes me sad. I fricking love this little girl, and I know I’m going to miss her like crazy. Or, at least, I imagine I will. I’ve never known a love like this—the love a mother has for her child. It’s overwhelming, crazy powerful and over-the-top amazing. I love greeting her smiley face and wild, bed-head hair at the crib every morning. I love the shitty grin she gives as she beelines it for the toilet or contemplates throwing her sippy on the floor for the umpteenth time during supper. I love the proud look she gives as she stands on her own, tries to climb up stairs or pushes a stool around the kitchen island.

She’s a brave little girl with few fears, and I can learn a thing or two from her and Brene when it comes to vulnerability.

When I think about it, kids don’t know what they don’t know; they don’t see what they don’t see. If Jacqueline doesn’t see me take the trip, invest in myself or be courageous, I’m not going to be that kind of role model for her. Wow. That’s not the kind of mom I want to be. I want my daughter to be brave, be strong, show up for herself and others, have the hard conversations, do the hard things, and see what goodness, joy and beauty come from daring greatly. All of this starts with me.

Join me in being vulnerable, friends. Join me in daring greatly. Little eyes and ears are watching, and they never miss a beat. Here’s to 928 miles of vulnerability and a purse full of Kleenexes! It’s about darn time!

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