Reposted from November 30, 2006. Back when Cleatus was still hanging around and Little Bear was just still incubating. Back when she and I were the only commentors on our own blogs. As you can see, Whymommy was tough then, and will be up for kicking some cancer ass now.
The biggest disagreement I remember having with my best friend was back in high school. She thought the paper luminaries that lined the sidewalks in my neighborhood were pretentious. I thought they were beautiful. It was probably the first time I agreed to disagree with someone, so I credit her for teaching me that all important skill.
There are so many things she has taught me. The most relevant things lately are about motherhood. She has never given me bad advice, so I'm relying heavily on her as we both incubate our little ones. This is her second and my first.
Whymommy has a beautiful mix of left-brain and right-brain. There are times when I feel like I am in on that secret; like she doesn't share that right-brain with very many people. I have been packing up my house for the past several months and came across a journal that Whymommy gave my in high school. It was inscribed "From one closet writer to another." As we both blog now, I guess you could say that we have come out of the closet. See you later, Tom Cruise.
As she blogs, she handles honesty gracefully. During her pregnancy, she has been plagued with sciatica. It has put her on 8 months of bed rest. Dealing with constant excrutiating pain can be handled a few different ways. You could write about it and hope you get sympathy. You could write about it out of anger. You could simply not write about it so that you wouldn't burden people with the ugliness of the situation. Whymommy chose to handle it differently.
Without ignoring what is a significant part of her life, the pain, she has been able to write about this pregnancy as a mother and a scientist. Is she in pain? Yes. Is it controlling her life? Only certain details. Is she still focused on Widget and the incubating Whybaby and their development? Absolutely. But she writes with the calm precision of her left-brain and crafts those words beautifully with the right. That is just who she is.
She posts about learning opportunities that she has found for Widget even when she is stuck on the couch. She posts about braving the playdates even through the pain. She posts about the hope of physical therapy and is honest about the disappointment of finding out they were wrong.
She continues to post, no matter how she is feeling, and I continue to learn from her. I hear encouragement in her words, hope, contentment, and love. She helped give me the courage to leave the professional world as I thought it should be and make a new life and new work for myself at home. Stay-at-home-part-time-self-employed mother. SAHPTSEM.
There is something else amazing about Whymommy. She has been able to accept help without feeling like it is a sign of weakness. My parents still have trouble with that. Watching someone struggle and refuse help is frustrating and sad. I am so proud of her for allowing her in-laws to come into her home and help them with Widget, the cooking, the cleaning, whatever. Whymommy has been able to maintain her dignity through a time when she is flat laid out. She even had Thanksgiving at her house with all the grandparents and who knows, maybe she will feel up to Christmas too.
If you haven't gotten to know her, you are missing out. I hope you will go spend some time with her today and be inspired. I certainly am going to just that.