She Speaks: Reflections on being vulnerable — and the letter ‘z’
Over the years, I’ve written about my strengths and weaknesses, my high and low mommy moments, and my gratitude for this perfectly imperfect life. I’ve also had a lot of light-hearted fun along the way.
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In my first She Speaks column — published exactly three years ago today — I opened up to readers about raising three daughters and my heartache over not having a son.
“It’s hard, imagining how awesome it would be to mother a little boy and knowing at this point in my life it will most likely not happen,” I wrote. “But what good would it do my soul to let my mind wander there? So I don’t.”
I was a newspaper reporter for nearly a decade, but writing a column was new to me. It’s different from covering a news story. There’s a bit of bravery involved, a willingness needed to reveal aspects of my personal life for all to judge, whether I like it or not.
This honesty and vulnerability, I found right from the get-go, helped me connect with readers, mostly other moms who relate to experiences similar to mine. Over the years, I’ve written about my strengths and weaknesses, my high and low mommy moments, and my gratitude for this perfectly imperfect life.
I’ve also had a lot of light-hearted fun along the way.
Here’s a random little secret: In each column, I make sure to include at least one word with the letter “z” in it, a little nod to my nickname, Zee. I’ve slipped in words like “disorganization,” “frazzled,” “frenzied,” “zombielike” and “crazy.” (If there’s a theme, it’s purely coincidental.) I always enjoy trying to figure out what word to sneak into my column. I’ve come close to forgetting a few times.
I’ve celebrated milestones with readers — my 40th birthday and 10th “mommiversary” — and taken them along on my travels to Seattle; Vanersborg, Sweden; and Avignon, France. I’ve written about my love for the holidays (especially Halloween!), my sweet parents and my wonderful husband of 12 years.
But the inspiration and heart of most of my columns has been my three girls, now 12, 10 and 6 years old. They were the topic of my first column and will likely be the topic of my last, whenever that will be. As they continue to grow and learn, so do I, and it seems I’ll never run out of lessons learned from them to write about.
When we introduced She Speaks in April 2016, we told readers: “Our new column offers insight into the lives of women.” Back then, I wondered how much insight I’d have to offer. I gave myself a year to contribute because I thought I’d quickly run out of things to say. Now here I am three years and 35 columns later.
So thank you for letting me speak — for giving this mom an outlet to vent her fears and frustrations, celebrate accomplishments big and small, and just figure out how to be the best woman and mother I can be. I look forward to sharing more.
And before I forget: zebra and zucchini, for good measure.