Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve shared with ya. Truth is, if I don’t have something pressing to share, I typically don’t, although all of the people “in the know” tell you that you need to blog on a regular basis when you have a business. This blog began as a “Pay It Forward” endeavor to share how Nikki’s Magic Wand got off the ground because I was getting that question often and I thought it could save folks some of the steps that I took. Another question I get a lot these days is about balancing it all…the 9 to 5, the business, the book, the kids and the list goes on. Frankly, we all are busy, working very hard, and I don’t pretend to be busier than anyone else. But, when people ask me, I’m happy to tell them how I manage, even when most days, I don’t really know myself.
Tonight, I was in my bed, lounging after watching one of my favorite shows and a thought jumped in my head. It felt like a pressing topic. It may not mean a lot to you but in the effort of being as transparent as possible, here goes….
I always wanted children. It was on my list, along with going to college (which I did) and wearing a suit to work (which I never, ever do). It was what you did or at least planned to do. On the first day of Summer in 1997, I was able to check off that particular goal. It was a girl! I didn’t know ahead of time, although I actually really did know. She emerged after 27 hours of labor, almost three hours of pushing and when they held her up, we locked eyes very knowingly, like we’d met long ago. She didn’t cry, she just looked at me like, “Hey Mom, it’s you.” When she was two months old, her dad and I split and then it was she and I against the world. I was 25 and figuring it all out.
This may sound odd, but as she grew, my feelings of actually being her mother would wax and wane. I felt as if she was just a little girl who had come to stay with me. I was unsure of what I was supposed to feel like but I sometimes became concerned that my mother instincts had not really kicked in. One thing I knew for sure was that I felt like her mother when she was in trouble or in pain. Panic set in on an almost physical level as I scrambled to set everything back to normal and make it all ok again.
When she was five, I remarried and the team of two, became a team of three. It was easy at first but as the tweens loomed, each day got harder and harder. I could never determine whose side to be on and it was exhausting. She was my baby, the one who had nestled against my heart, internally and externally, and even when I knew she was straight up wrong, I felt like I had to defend her. When she was hurt or sad or embarrassed or depressed, or treated unfairly, my Lioness kicked it with a vengeance and this “filtered” mother would challenge teachers, employers, her father, her step-father, anyone. I would write letters and make phone calls and sometimes curse and scream. She was mine to protect.
As she grew, her personality emerged and it turned out to be so very different from mine. I was confused by it, exhausted by it, but I also admired it in many ways. She was not a conformist and while I knew that would cause her some heartache, eventually I realized that it would also allow her creativity to flourish and she’d end up teaching her very conventional mother many things.
This story of loving your child beyond all else is not new or novel. Most mothers do just that and more. I’m not special in that regard. So you’re wondering, “Uh, Nik, what does this have to do with anything?”
Just like she and Brent are my cubs, to protect and roar at their opposition, we all need to protect the treasures to which we give birth. Whether you have a 9 to 5, a business, a book, a catering service or an actual child, you need to protect its image, reputation, what it gives to the world. You need to believe in it and throw caution to the wind when defending it. You need to allow it to teach you about yourself. You need to stop and listen. You need to plan and plot its success. Just as God gave me these children that I planned and prayed for, He also gave me this idea and the next one and the one after that.
That’s my story, well, one of them and I hope you enjoyed the read.