In Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please, her sweet parents tell the story of her birth.
Amy recounts the details in the book: her Mom was twenty-four and her Dad, about to turn twenty-five.
Her Mom says this: "I was thrilled to have a daughter. My mother had modeled so successfully how to bring up daughters. I can still remember that first rush of motherly pride, that assurance that my child was perfect, and then that first twinge of self-doubt. Was I ready for this job?"
(We can all relate, no?)
Amy's Dad chimes in, "I was thrilled to have a daughter and specifically asked the florist to put a card on the arrangement that read, "Glad it's a girl!"
Amy went on to tell her readers, "If your parents are still alive, call them today and ask them to describe the day you were born. Write the details down here, on the following pages. Tell the story every year on your birthday until you know it by heart."
This part of her book made me cry when I first read it many months ago.
I have no idea what my Mom felt the day I was born. I never asked. I do recall her saying that I resembled a spider monkey. (tee hee.)
My Dad? I'm certain he felt somewhat nervous on that day in 1979 that I might possibly be another boy (no offense to my 3 brothers...) But how he felt after I was born? No idea.
What they were thinking? No clue.
Today, this part of the book doesn't make me cry.
Instead, it makes me want to write more and more and MORE.
I started this blog 10 years ago as an ode to my favorite joke. Long before "two pretzels" came into my life. This blog was named long before I even wanted children.
Here's the joke that inspired it all. Are you ready? It's a show stopper.
"Two pretzels were walking down the street... one was a salted."
A SALTED pretzels.
Yeah. I know.
But I've always thought it was hilarious and it helps that it's the only punchline I've ever been able to remember.
This blog was started to be light, airy and to give me an outlet to be... me. Here's my first post.
Over time, it morphed.
I developed friendships and readers who have supported and cheered me throughout the years.
For the first couple of years, I think Craig was thankful that the blog existed.
It curtailed my incessant talking to him. Instead of mentioning that I thought my current mascara was failing, I'd write about it here. He seldom read Two Pretzels, unless I asked him to. Now, I think he reads it pretty regularly.
My Mom even ignored the blog. I don't blame her. Our daily phone calls were probably all the Kylee she needed.
I kept writing.
We decided to move to Mexico, so I wrote about it.
I wrote about my sweet niece and the cute things she'd say and do. (CloMo's for those who remember. P.S., she's 16 now.)
I wrote about living in Mexico and the insane transition. ($15 butter and no JIF peanut butter. Oy.)
I finally wrote about how we couldn't get pregnant, after we tried and tried.
Oh, the envelopment of love and well wishes was incredible... this was the first time I realized that written words could connect us. Really connect us.
I wrote about my pregnancy, gave "produce reports" comparing my baby's size to farm vegetables and fruits.
I wrote about Lila's birth, then her life in my weekly "Lila Lunes." ("Lunes" means Monday in Spanish.)
And then there was another pregnancy! Surprise! And then Vivienne Kate arrived. My "Lila Lunes" was changed to "Ladies Lunes" and the blog took a definite "Mom" shift.
I wrote about the crazy, chaotic, full life I had.
The crying, diapering, pumping, body-changing, craziness.
I wrote about it all.
I started to consider this blog the girls' baby books.
And then, I wrote about that day when my heart was crumpled, like the car my Mom was driving, and about how she passed.
I had to. This space has been my safe space, my outlet, my respite.
And during that time... the love, the support, the prayers and the kindness... it lifted me and honestly carried me. I never realized the power of grief and how it really unites.
Thus far I have written 5,206 posts.
As it turns out, I've been writing for them. For my Two Pretzels.
I was writing this blog, my legacy, before I ever knew that I'd be their Mom.
Because of this space, my girls will know who I was before they were born.
They will know how I felt when I found out they were to be mine.
They will know the joys, the tears, the struggles and the treasures that they have brought to my life.
They will know who I am by these words.
They will know my love of fashion, of reading, of Lionel and Martha, mascara and dry humor and donuts.
They will know I love their Dad. With ever fiber of my being.
And, when the time comes, I hope they're able to wrap themselves in the words I wrote when I lost my Mom... to guide them through...
Today, on my birthday, I'm not sad that my Mom didn't write down how she felt when I was born. I'm not upset that I don't know how my Dad felt.
Instead, I am thrilled to pieces and beyond thankful that they gave me life and that today, I am healthy, drinking a lovely cup of green tea in a coffee shop on a rainy day in Ohio and I am here living it.
I am honored to be their child, to be their Mom, to be his wife.
I will continue to write so that they know me.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for your support and love.