"i'm different than other children"

this is actually NOT ella and i....it's my mom and i

"i'm different than other children"

my mother told me she remembered thinking this thought as a child.
she thought she spent more time thinking deep thoughts than others.
and it turned into a way i'd sometimes tease her when i was a teenager.
she'd tell me what she thought about something and, if it seemed a little crazy to me, i'd quote her "i'm different" speech.
it bugged her.
in a good way.
in a way that'd make her laugh and punch my arm.

but now...of course...i think a lot about that speech.
i sometimes think, "i'm different than other mothers"
not like better....
just different.
there's this thing, this feeling, that most seem to have toward their kids.
it's an understood connection between most moms.
something that i don't have.

it's like like this...
"don't grow up! stay small and just as you are forever!"
now, i'm not saying i don't get this.
in fact, if i sit here and really think about never having a tiny baby again or never helping another child wiggle their first tooth again or never having them grab one finger with their tiny baby grip, i can freak myself out.

but, i do feel like i lack that thing that connects everyone else.
that, "noooooo!" feeling as i leave behind phases of baby and child hood.
i've thought about all of this a lot.
and, being me, tried to figure out why i am how i am.
i thought maybe it's because my kids are all pretty close in age and as one is phasing out of a stage the other is just getting started?
i thought it might still be coming and maybe your youngest has to be in kindergarten for it to happen?
i thought i might be heartless and stupid?
i thought i might be too eager for the next thing?

but this is what i really think it comes down to.
it is really hard for me to imagine getting to my fifties.
not in like a morbid, doomsday way.
in a practical, just a "needing a mental picture and example that is close to me so i can imagine it" way.

so, there is this part of me that i think just tries to raise my kids the very best i can with this unspoken attitude of "i better just enjoy what i can and do what i can for my kids since i'm outta here by 47...".
each new phase is one step closer to them being able to be ok with out me?
each lesson learned is a box checked off?
each year older is me taking sigh a relief that i'm still here with them?
each milestone passed is one that i got to see and be their mother for?

i'm not saying this is healthy.
i'm just sorting myself out here.

so because of all this particular craziness in my head, i think opposite "than other mothers".
not right there in the front of my mind, but somewhere back there underneath the brokeness and pain.
i think...grow big and strong.
i think...soak up everything i can help you with.
i think...don't ever forget my love for you.
i think...learn to help each other and remember that someday you will need each other, when i'm gone.
i think...i want to build a wall of protection around you to shield you from loss.

and, like most personal issues that i deal with, it all comes down to faith.
do i have faith in God's ways over my ideas?
do i really think that i can manage myself and my family so that, heaven forbid, i leave them early, it wouldn't hurt them as bad as it hurt my family when we lost our mother?
do i really want to wish away anything if it is part of god's allowance to mold my favorite people, his beloved children into men and women that please him?

so, there's some food for thought for you today....
and if, by chance, next time we are having lunch or hanging out at the park, i look at you with a blank stare when you want to exclaim about how you want your kids to be babies forever....you'll know that i'm not being a jerk, it's just that "i'm not like other children"... and you can just pat me on my little confused head.



  1. oh, shauna.
    i love how you make me come back to your posts.
    these deep ones of yours always stir up stuff in my head and then i
    need a little time to think about them more.....
    i'll be back.

  2. such beautiful pictures, like always. i think maybe some of it is simply having an eternal perspective, you know? but also, i totally know what you mean about not seeing yourself past a certain age. it's definitely strange & food for thought, like you said.

  3. oh, how i love when you share you real truth with us.
    i REALLY love this because i can totally relate to it.
    shhhh, don't tell anyone, but i'm not like other children either. ;)

  4. I love your heart, I so get this. I am not like this I'm the EXTREME opposite but I totally get you:)

  5. I love how open you can be with your words. You have such a talent. I often feel as though I am on loan here for my children, that I will leave before my time is up. I bug the heck out of my kids with all the times I kiss them hug them hold their hands tell them I love them all day. I just always want them to know how much my heart swells with love and pride for them.

  6. I think a lot of us are walking around thinking we must be so different than the other moms - perhaps in different ways than you talk about here, but feeling like there is something they are feeling that we just aren't. I know I have "craziness in my head" too. I spend a lot of time thinking about why God packaged up my craziness as the answer to the mom that my kids need... and asking for grace and time to improve some of my craziness to be the mom they need. I think about how my experiences shaped the way I am and how their experiences are shaping them and how I help or hurt that for them. Keeping faith that God is molding/shaping us all continually together. :) Thank you for sharing.

  7. I sort of think opposite of other moms, too. I tend to agree with your box checked theory when it comes to my son. Sometimes I would like a "pause" button when we're particularly close or having a great day, but I'm good with him growing and changing. As always, you inspire my deep thoughts. I'm like your mom - I have always been "different" than other kids/adults/moms/women, and I'm OK with that.

  8. Wow. Thanks for being so raw, honest, vulnerable. I can relate to the feeling of not mourning my kids growing up, but I think it's {like you mentioned} because my kids are all so close in age. Three times through any stage and I'm good :) Love this post!

  9. different is very very very good.
    i am constantly enamored with the beauty of your photos and the realness you present.
    your kids are VERY blessed to have you.

  10. first off, that photo of you and your mom looks IDENTICAL to you and your little girl!
    secondly, I think it's great you want to raise your children up and be there every step of the way, and that you aren't hanging onto the past, but living in the moment and thinking about the future.

    I am so sorry you lost your mom at a young age, I pray that you live to see your grandchildren and that you have a very healthy fulfilled and happy life...much love,

  11. I know exactly what you mean. I lost my mom when I was six. I thought it was hard growing up without her, but find it's also hard to live longer than she did. Getting married was hard, having twins was hard, turning 34 was hard, turning 35 was even harder (because she never got to), my girls turning 6 was especially hard (to see how young I was and to think would they remember me now?), losing my dad last year was hard. Yes, it's exactly like checking off boxes. I get that. It's like I want my kids to hurry up and grow to be able to see them through life and for myself to keep getting older to know that I get to. Always wondering when will it happen to me, to them. The only time I've really put this into words was in this post 2 years ago. http://tadacreations.blogspot.com/2009/10/space-in-between.html Ok, can no longer type through tears...Thanks you for this post!

  12. this is so precious. Keep on being YOU...it encourages me to be...just a little different. :)

  13. I read this post almost everyday. I lost my mom when she was 49... and I often figure I'll die then too. Which terrifies me. The good news, I think at least, is that my kids will be 30, 28, 23 and 21 by then. But it plays a big part in my not wanting to let our family grow any bigger. I feel like it's too late. I wouldn't want any of my sweet littles to be under 20 when I'm gone. Is that weird? I'm sad that I'll get to be a grandma to some but not all of the likely grandchildren. Anyways I'm not sure what I am taking away from the many times I've read this, but I just do it. Maybe so I don't feel so alone in assuming my own early demise, though it is not certain. Maybe to remind myself not to waste time doing things that are not important, but rather teach them the lessons they need from me now... ya know... just in case. Thanks for this.