I’ve heard it said that parenthood is like having your heart walk around outside your body.
And in many ways, I agree.
There are two pieces of my heart that climbed onto a school bus today, starting journeys of their own.
And there are also pieces of my heart in armchairs sitting next to my grandparents as they manage challenges and pain.
There are additional pieces of my heart on airplanes and in cars as my parents, brother, aunts, uncles, and cousins travel to where they are needed most at this moment.
A piece of my heart is in the home office downstairs solving problems, and making plans, and carrying pieces of his own.
Pieces are in text messages with friends feeling grief and frustration.
Pieces are in blazer pockets with coaching clients walking into interviews.
Pieces are walking alongside those who are devastatingly told time and time and time again that they are less valued in our society.
And there is a piece of my heart that stays here with me. Remembering to keep myself on the list.
As a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend, a coach, an author, a person. I find that I don't have one heart that is walking around.
It’s in pieces.
Walking, riding, soaring, breaking, sighing, feeling.
It will be the same for those two pieces of my heart who climbed on the bus.
They are my heart pieces who have full independent hearts of their own. Hearts that will break off into many pieces throughout their lives.
So maybe that is what parenthood is to me. Teaching them to manage the pieces.
The complicated pieces, the beautiful pieces, the difficult pieces, the funny pieces, and the pieces that scare them the most.
How to hold onto the pieces and let go of the pieces.
Care for the pieces and mend the pieces.
Honor the pieces and love the pieces.
Because it’s the pieces scattered around in the wind and the pieces we keep close, they are what make us whole.