you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs. – katherine center

i’ve got two more guest posts to round out the end of my maternity leave this week. today’s post comes from author and friend katherine center. i met katherine a couple of years ago through mutual friends who just gushed and gushed about her personality, her warmth, and her amazing novels. after meeting her, it thought she was so crushable – so warm, down to earth, the best mom, super talented, and up for adventure.

katherine has a way of sneaking in profound moments of pause into her stories which are the best surprises ever. her stories weave in poetic sentences so that i’m constantly jotting down that phrase or pondering that sentence or laughing at that memory she unearthed. i love this dear letter from her and i can sense the longing, the truth of her words so beautifully on the surface of my own heart. photos and words by katherine 🙂

ps: i also wanted to share this video that she made. before i had baby true, this video made me jump for joy. now that i’m a mom, it reaches my heart even more. you will love it.

Dear Kelly Rae,

I’ve been collecting baby blankets for you from around my house. Ones I couldn’t bear to give away once my babies were too big to need them—but ones we can’t use anymore because my children have become, of all things, too big.

When True is older, you will not want to give away any of his baby things. Even as they fill up your storage tubs. You will save them as keepsakes, as tactile reminders of the baby that used to fill your arms every waking second. They will feel as precious to you as that soft skin itself.
But they will add up. Zero-to-3 months will blur into 12-18, and before you know it, little newborn onesies that used to dwarf him will look like doll clothes. And they take up too much room to just keep them for fun.

And so, my stack of blankets for you.

Every time I add to it, I think about what the note I’ll put in the package will say. I compose it in my head, and then life pulls me back to something more urgent until the next time I find one stuffed in the back of the PJ drawer or under the bed.

Each note is a little different. But they all say the same thing.

They say: Here is a little piece of us. The baby boy who gazed up with the deepest amber eyes, and the mama who was absolutely besieged by sleep deprivation and worry and joy and love. There were times I was so tired, or frightened, or frustrated, I didn’t think I’d make it to the next hour. And, of course, you can’t even imagine the magnitude of love you’ll feel before your baby comes to you. It absolutely flattens you. It humbles, and destroys, and rips you into a million pieces.

That’s why baby things become so precious. They know who we were in our tenderest moments.
When you finally put yourself back together, your baby won’t be a baby anymore. And you won’t be the person you remember. You will have become someone else—someone greater than yourself. Someone wiser, nobler, and infinitely more brave.

And after that happens, even as good as it is, every now and then you will wish like anything that you could bundle up the little person who started it all, and whisper over and over words that won’t mean anything to him until some distant future when he himself arrives in your same shoes: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed. Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore their creativity, nourish their souls and build a thriving creative business.

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