Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids.


A compilation of stories and lessons learned

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Finding Contentment



I had been growing restless.  I couldn’t recall how long it had been since I had been on an “adventure”. 
 
I had a problem with contentment and always was searching for the next big thing.  Perhaps that’s why the Navy was good for me.  Flying on old planes was an adventure in itself.  Wings fell off.  Engine caught on fire.  The planes were old.  Oil leaks were a reassuring sign- an indication that the engine still had oil.  There was always a chance of getting shot at.  It was wonderful.


Aside from the Navy, if there was a cliff to dive off, a black diamond to ski down, a car to ride on top of, or a motorcycle to speed down a freeway on, I was the first to volunteer.  Yes, I had this weird thing with riding on top of cars.


Dumb?  Sure.  Did I care?  Not really.  I was invincible.  I had nothing to lose.  My bucket list had only began.
Why did I feel the need to constantly challenge myself?  I didn’t know.


10 years and 3 kids later...  


 I conquered childbirth.  What’s next? 


On a whim, I applied and was accepted into the FBI Special Agent program.


“Congratulations, you have successfully completed the Special Agent tests and interviews.  You may want to start making preparations for Quantico for the next 7 months and eventual relocation.”


It was the opportunity of a lifetime.  FBI. Special. Agent.  The best of the best.

**************************

At dinnertime, I was dreaming about going undercover and investigating dangerous crimes.  

“Mommy,” I suddenly snapped back into reality.   My 9 year old daughter sat in front of her dinner plate next to me.  She shifted her food back and forth on her plate with her fork.

“Yes?”


“Shaylen told me today she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore...  and I don’t have any friends left.”  She hardly could speak the words.  Her head was still down, but I could see her huge brown eyes as they began to well up.


Oh the wickedness of preteen girls. I knew it was a normal growing pain- but oh, how dare they hurt my baby.  

I remembered it all too well myself- thinking back to a time when I was 9.  My friends and I had wretched Jack Sparrow-like duels.  Why were girls so mean?


I wanted to squeeze her and tell her none of this mattered.  It would pass and someday she would realize how ridiculous it was.


But to her, in that moment, it was her world.  And it was crashing down.


I glanced across the table at my sweet cherub-faced preschooler .  She was so innocent with her golden locks and expressive blue eyes.  Next to her sat her brother with a look of deep concentration on his face.  No doubt the weight of the world on his shoulders, as kindergarten had already presented new challenges for him too.  It was only the beginning.


It was then that I knew where I had to be.   



I was in the middle of the biggest adventure yet.  And I was needed right where I was.


“It’ll be okay, sweetheart.  I promise.”  I whispered. 


And at last, I found contentment.


*Defining moments occur when our past and our present or our future clash. The previous was written for this week’s Write on Edge prompt, write a memoir post describing such a time and the results.

10 comments:

  1. The power comes from the descriptions of the kids, and that moment at the kitchen table.

    It's a balance...we still need adventure, for sure, but maybe...it doesn't have to be away. How do we hold on to that spirit of adventure?

    Let me know when you figure it out! :)

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    1. I know, that is the question, right? How do we remain true to ourselves and find the perfect balance of being everything our kids need us to be? Thank you!!

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  2. Oh my gosh! There is not an adventurous bone in body, so I was wondering how you were going to pull this off. I love the abrupt switch to your daughter's struggle. Isn't that the story of parenthood? Well done.

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    1. Thank you Melanie! Yes, you are so right- that is completely the constantly evolving ways of parenthood.

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  3. What wonderful writing. Sometimes it is so hard to be content in motherhood. It is a sometimes boring and monotonous task. It's wonderful to have those moments of understanding right where you are truly needed!

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    1. I know, it's true. And then some days you realize the little things are really the big things. Thank you so much!

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  4. A perfect description of the contentment that's possible in motherhood if we open our eyes. Kudos to you for realizing where you needed to be at that moment - and being content with it. They'll be grown before you know it and I have a feeling they're going to be well-prepared for the world, thanks to their mom!

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    1. I sure hope so! That is my main goal in life. Thank you so much!

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  5. Children are a full adventure, but I do get the feeling of needing to do something else sometimes.

    Tks for dropping by my blog.

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    1. I definitely understand that. Loved your blog!

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