Friday, May 02, 2008


Today my little girl is 14. I'd like to say it's flown by. I'd also like to say that being her mother has given my life endless amounts of joy and glee. I'd like to say that while neither of those are true, there is no one on the planet I'm prouder of, and for whom I am more grateful.

My little girl has had her share of ups and downs. A year ago she was on three medications, including one that would scare the pants off you if I told you about it, but I won't. Suffice it to say she wasn't happy, and nobody else around here was either.

It was just about a year ago I decided to "leave her" with her highly capable, loving, willing, job with ultimate flexibility, father, and go "find myself." To split hairs, I left for 4 weeks, came home for a week, and left for another four. I made it my ultimate goal to figure out WTF the legacy was I was passing on to her, and to be far more deliberate in that.

I came home and wrote a book about my journey. I compared my book to Eat, Pray, Love. I stood on the platform that I don't know one single woman that could possibly take off for a year, travel the world, be paid while doing so, and come home a different person. I did, however, know at least 100 women that could find SOME amount of time to "escape" their lives, re-evaluate them, and make a profound difference in ALL relationship dynamics, not to mention their relationship with themselves.

My book is being read by agents and publishers now. It is striking a nerve and a chord, such was the impetus for the post I recently wrote about that. The reactions and responses, two very different things I've learned, fascinate me. They also fine tune my process so I move away from a state of defensiveness, to one of unapologetic, calm and a deep knowing peace. Let's just say I'm still very much IN that process, not THROUGH it (obviously).

Today my little girl is 14. Today she is not on three medications. She is not on the scare-your-pants-off one, that was the first to go. She is happy. She has a large, wonderful, true blue circle of friends that I couldn't have better chosen for her myself. She is physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, psychologically, academically, THRIVING.

I can't go anywhere without hearing beautiful compliments about my daughter, and the profound changes others are have seen in her.

The quote from the book, COMEBACK, "Results don't lie. Results will always show you what your true intention, conscious or not, was," brings me great peace. A year ago if I'd read that quote I would have gone screaming for the hills. Oh, wait, that's exactly what I DID do. I went. Screaming. For. The. Hills.

But I came back.

There are lots of ways mothers leave their children. Some never actually take a step out the door, but they aren't "there."

There are mothers that leave their children in the bottom of their wine bottles.

There are mothers that leave their children when they end their marriages with high drama and major explosives.

There are mothers that leave their children by never cutting the apron strings. They are so fused with their children that their children can't live without them. They have missed their primary responsibility as parents, if you ask me, and that is to give your children WINGS to fly. They clip them, instead.

There are as many ways to "leave your children" as there are mothers with children. And many of these mothers DO return, one way or another. They come back.

I came back.

Today my little girl is 14.

I came back.

I'm so glad I did.

I'm equally glad I left.

* Photo: "Elephant - Mother and Child" by Jamini Roy


meanie said...

wow. i want to know more. and i think you are really brave for putting it out there.

Anonymous said...

Happy bithday.........sweet 14!

riversgrace said...

This is a stunning post. Did you ever imagine a few years ago that you would be able to say these things from you own experience?

It's such a worthy journey. Happy Birthday to you, mama.

Kim said...

Happy Birthday Woohoo!!

holly said...

Gorgeous post, Carrie!

Happy Birthday to you both!

Mama 'N Me said...

Happy Birthday, WooHoo. And congratulations on having made a stellar choice when it came to mothers.

Blessings to you both, Carrie.

lo said...

Good stuff Carrie
Very honest

Go Mama said...

This is such a great moment for you C, and for her. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!!

Such power and clarity. Can't wait to read your book.


Full Soul Now! said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Jenny said...

Happy b-day to 14. And I can't wait to read your book! It sounds great.

La La said...

Happy Birthday, Whoohoo!

This is beautifully written, and what a great gift you have given to Whoohoo and to yourself! This amazing legacy that is YOU.

Deb said...

Happy birthday to Woohoo! Happy birth year to you dear Carrie. Beautiful writing. Beautiful heart.

Kathryn said...

Fantastic post; and Happy Birthday to your daughter. Sounds like you have really come through something huge.

I want to read your book!

MY OWN WOMAN... said... have guts girl. I hope mothers everywhere realize that when Mama considers herself "worthy" only then can her children develop the confidence they need to survive in this world.

marge said...

Happy Birthday to Woohoo.

What a wonderful and honest legacy you are leaving for your daughter. She is a lucky girl and you are a lucky mother.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

What a wonderful gift to give to your daughter.
Happy, happy birthday to both of you.

Eileen said...

Happy Birthday WOOHOO!!! What a journey Carrie, what an amazing journey.
Thank you for having the courage to not only "leave and come back" but also to be able to share it with us. So much growth and wisdom because you took a risk.
Your book is going to be amazing.

Michelle O'Neil said...


I read this today and thought of you...specifically this post.


"When women open the doors of their own lives and survey the carnage there in those out-of-the-way places, they most often find they have been allowing summary assassinations of their most crucial dreams, goals, and hopes."

"I, and many of the women I know, began by thinking that the men around us were to blame for the carnage. If we spotted our own complicity, we were tempted to blame it on the older women who modeled complicity for us. Once we learn to accept the responsibility without shame — which changes 'blame' to simple ownership — we have food for a lifetime."

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Amber said... I can't wait to read it.

You are so right. And some mothers just never show up.

ox :)

Terry Whitaker said...

stunning! I wrote that and then looked down to see Riversgrace had said the same--I guess because it is. Truly.

Jess said...

Yep, wonderful. Congrats and Happy Bday to you both!!