my name is andrea, and i'm not strong. sometimes, i take the steps, instead of the elevator, so i have somewhere to cry by myself. other times, i stand over shilo, rubbing her head, and letting the tears fall. every sunday, as jason and abigail wave goodbye, i shamelessly stand in front of the elevator with tears streaming down my face.
yes, i am capable of taking care of my children, standing up for their needs, and being there for them. but the strongest thing i can think to do, for my children, is teach them that it's okay to hurt. it's okay to admit that this time in our life is hard and it sucks, and we can cry about that.
i hear family after family here say, 'you have to be strong, for your child.' and i wonder what that even means. absolutely i will be here and stand up for what she needs, and for her to get the best care possible in every way possible.
but for both of my daughters, i would much rather them learn that they don't have to act tough. sometimes life is hard. and sometimes the strongest thing to do is stop being so stoic, and fake, and admit the weakness.
maybe i'll think of something witty to say to the next person who tells me to be strong. or maybe it will be at just the right moment, and instead of saying anything, i will stand there, and cry. because sometimes, crying, seems like the only strong thing left to do.