I thought I knew what it was like to feel

January 8, 2015

Written by a mom to her children, and anyone else who feels like reading.

By now you’ve come to realize that there are good days and there are bad days.

With as hard as I try, it’s nearly impossible for me to remember what I considered to be bad days when I was your age. I imagine my worst days involved feeling rejected by someone I thought I wanted to like me, not achieving something that I worked really hard for, finishing in second place when I knew I could be first, seeing someone I cared about get hurt, trying to find my way in a sometimes chaotic world, losing control of my car on black ice, dissolving a long-lasting relationship, and saying goodbye to my childhood dog.

The bad days, even though small in number compared to the good, were still really hard to get through. I will try not to minimize your woes if you come to me for guidance.

You’re growing up with challenges I never personally faced. Although it is impossible for you to wrap your minds around this, I remember a time before computers, cell phones, and social media. I’m part of the last generation who knows what it was like to grow up offline.

While I won’t understand every obstacle you’ve faced or have yet to scale, I do know this: both the best of times and the worst of times are yet to come. I guarantee you that.

The only way for me to explain that bold statement is by recounting my own personal experiences.

At your age, I thought I knew what it was like to feel everything very deeply. With each passing year, however, I am exposed to more beauty and tragedy than I ever realized was possible.

Photo (29)

…on top of the world. Until I discovered how it feels to watch someone you love achieve their own success in life.

…extreme pride. Until I received a compliment about how you treat others when I am not watching.

…heartache. Until I read a story about a dad tossing his 5-year old daughter off a bridge for no apparent reason.

…trustworthy. Until I had to find a way to allow others to keep you safe when I couldn’t be there myself.

…helpless. Until I watched your grandma, my mom, slowly suffer on the liver transplant list with a rare blood type that was hard to match.

…selfless. Until I learned about the young man who gave part of himself to give your grandma new life.

…cheated. Until I lost my grandma far too soon.

…loved. Until I sat with you in bed every night reflecting on how our days went and talking about the future.

…confused. Until I witnessed you playing Minecraft.

…spiritual. Until I eavesdropped on your prayers.

…embarrassed. Until I learned about you publicly relieving yourself at recess on school grounds.

…clueless. Until I watched you run football drills.

…pressure. Until I had to pay the bills.

…disgusted. Until I saw you lick the floor of Target.

I wish I could bubble wrap the absolute best parts of life and store them away for safekeeping. I also wish I could shield you from the tragedy and despair you’ll inevitably face. The best I can do is help prepare you for both.

I promise to always offer you my ears to listen, my shoulder to lean on, and my unsolicited advice. I imagine you’ll appreciate two out of the three of those.

Written by Heidi Woodard

13 responses to I thought I knew what it was like to feel


    Heidi, your blog posts always make me either smile, laugh, cry, think, or relight my fire for writing. Your best posts do all five. This is one of those.


    Good read and spot on.


    This is probably my favorite of your posts…extremely true all of those things. Thank you for sharing.



    What Shannon said…


    This one is among my favorites! It is right up there with the one with drawings your dad and your boys did while he was in charge of them.:)


    That is so cute and so wonderful at the same time! We learn so much from our children. I thought I knew what pride felt like until I saw my kids swim laps and play basketball like pros. That sometimes brings tears to my eyes.


      What a feeling it is! Our kids can teach us a lot…and drive us crazy. I’ll take the good with the bad. 🙂 Hopefully more good than bad. Thanks for commenting.


    Well, how dare you! I read this at work (I work overnight) and true to my permanently messed-up hormones, could barely cover up the tears that sprang from your words about your mom and how you experience pride when your children accomplish something (like being a good person!). Then I did the ugly cry/laugh snort when I got to the minecraft part and the recess part! Thanks for making me look like a goof in front of my co-workers. Thanks a lot. Had to tell them I had “something in my eye” and high-tail it to the bathroom to compose myself! Very well said though, maybe that’s why it struck such a chord with me!