Saturday, December 5, 2009


I'm about to wax all philosophical or whatever on you, sooooo don't say I didn't give you fair warning.

There has been a lot on my mind lately.  I blame it on the holidays.  They tend to cause one to reflect on the year gone by.  Goals accomplished, desires unrealized, you know, all that deep stuff that normally is far too complicated for my brain to process.  Usually I wade in the pond of my thoughts because I know if I go out any further I'm gonna need a life raft and army flares, some perc.ocet and a 32 oz Coke to get me outta there alive. 

Those of you who have seen this process, well, I'm just gonna ask you now not to blackmail me with it, mmk?

Oh goll, I just gave you ideas.

I have been ruminating on something for a while now.  While it seems simple enough in my mind, I am finding it a little bit harder to express in writing.  Basically I've been wondering what kind of legacy I'm going to leave behind when I move on from this life.  Or maybe not so much what kind of legacy, but just what in general.  Will I leave this world a little bit of a better place?  Will people think of me as a kind person who tried to be a genuinely good person?  Will I have inspired some good in a world that is turning increasingly selfish and cold?

Hmmm.  You may ask, 'Kenna, what brought this on?'  Well, I'm not dying, don't worry, but lately I have become more aware of the small impact I may have on someone or something in this life.  I read a quote the other day that sparked this train of thought.  As with most of my quotes lately, I read it on Jenny's old photography blog.  (the post that inspired me can be found here)  Allow me to share it with you.

"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

That quote, my friends, is the definition of true success.

As most of you know, I am not capable of having a biological child.  I think somewhere in my mind I figured that is what I'd be leaving behind.  I would have a child, raise it to be a good and kind adult, and that is how I would leave the world a better place.  While of course I still plan on doing this through the miracle of adoption, I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't thought to myself, 'What if I am not given the opportunity to be a mother in this life.  What am I going to leave this world?'  I know that the Lord's will is not my own, and while there are things I desire that are good and noble things, that doesn't mean I will automatically be given them.  I don't say that to be negative, I say that because I have seen the Lord work miracles in my life via the struggles I've had attempting to gain that which I desire.  I know that good things will come and I will be compensated in the end if this be the case.

I don't need to be a mother to have accomplished something wonderful and noble in this life.

So with that being said, allow me to share an experience I had recently that has made me more aware of the impact I could possibly have on someone in this life.  We all will impact someone or something in this life.  I dare say we will impact more than one person, one situation, etc.  It's our choice whether or not it's for good, or for, well, not so good.

I attended Thanksgiving at Studly's parent's house and as well as his big family Christmas party a week ago.  For those of you who know me know that I am actually not much of a social butterfly.  It's just not my style.  Along with that, I tend to distance myself from little people.  I have 8 nieces and nephews on my husbands side, and I admit I don't have much of a relationship with any of them.  I don't necessarily have a desire right now anyway, although that is a very horrible excuse.  (it's not the little's trust me, this is a whole notha post)  Most of them are under the age of 2, so that makes me feel less of a jerk about it. Then again, I know when I need to protect myself and this is one way I do it.  One day it'll change, but for now, it's just something that is happening and it needs to be accepted.

However, as soon as I walked in the door to have Thanksgiving dinner, I was drawn to my little 6 month old niece A.  Again, for those of you who know me should be completely shocked.  The only babies I've ever been drawn to are Andrew, Hanna, and my Maya baby.  (who, might I add, is turning one and is no longer a baby.  she talks, she walks, she's growing up.  i admit i will probably shed a tear about this.  i have loved this little one since i knew she was coming, and for both studly and i it was love at first sight when we first held her.)  Plus, it takes a lot of time and effort on my part to just pick up a baby.  I was actually completely shocked when I took her from my sister in law, L.  I kinda wonder if she was surprised too.  It took a minute for her to warm up to me (the last time i held her was right after she was born) but we became friends.  In fact, I got little A to take a post Thanksgiving dinner nap with me.  (it has been said i have, 'the touch' but i really just think i get them when they are sleepy.)  I was actually sad when we left because I wanted to spend more time with her.  (drop your jaws in shock people, it's okay)

I was happy when I got to see her a couple days later at the next party.  In fact, we took another nap and I have to share this picture with you because she fell asleep is such a funny way.  It was too adorable not to snap a shot.

Yup, that kid is totally folded in half.  Too funny.

So, the point of all this rambling is this: Little A made me think of something I could leave behind.  I could be the coolest aunt this kid has ever had.  (sorry other aunts, ya'll know it's true!)  If I'm not able to raise my own kids, I can leave this little with great memories, and I don't know, maybe teach her something or whatever.  There are so many different 'motherly capacities' I can fill.  Yes, it's hard sometimes because I feel like I am getting some kind of consolation prize, but with having Little A in my life, along with so many other little's that I adore, (Carter, India, Hanna, Maya, Jack, Griff, etc) I realized maybe I can make a difference. 

Mmk, maybe that seems like a way lame epiphany to you, but this is huge for me!

No, like so huge.

There is so much we can do now, instead of waiting for the perfect circumstance.  In fact, there is no such thing as the perfect circumstance.  This is how I'm trying to live in the now.  I admonish all of you to think about how you impact people's lives, and become more aware of it.  

I promise it will open your eyes to so many opportunities.

I promise.

Can I leave you with a quote from Jenny herself?  She said is so much better than I ever could in one of her posts.

'Everyone has something that they can create out of their reality that is of benefit to the world.'

Even a reality that may seem harsh and abrasive.

Think about it, mmk?

Then act on it.

***sorry if this post is not super coherent. you know how it goes when i try to be all deep and serious***

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Alli said...

This reminded me of my favorite aunt. She also cannot have children, but she really is the best aunt I could ask for. I could spend hours talking to her on the phone-- just like I would with my mom. I just hope she knows that.

Cali said...

Great post, and so true! There are so many "hats" we wear as women - aunt, daughter, wife, sister, friend, etc. You are an awesome aunt! :)

Michelle said...

K... seriously, I'm pretty sure you wrote this post for me.. I'm not even kidding.

I have had such a hard time lately thinking about the "what if I never get to have my own baby." crap... since its been wayyy to long since I lost our baby.

This is what hit me most "There is so much we can do now, instead of waiting for the perfect circumstance. In fact, there is no such thing as the perfect circumstance. This is how I'm trying to live in the now."

Thank you for this post.. seriously.

I'm 100% you wrote this just so that I would read it. :)

Kerstin Daynes said...

I love it! The image of you with Little A at the party will forever be a part of my mind. She looked so peaceful...and what is even more meaningful to me: YOU WERE PEACEFUL. It was truly a awe-inspiring moment. I am glad I got to peek into the moment.

Richard and Emily said...

I love this Kenna! My mom has something that she LOVES to say: "Be Happy Now" - I think this post goes right along with that. Choosing to be happy now despite circumstances you may not like. I love the thought you've been putting into this and that you were willing to share! :)

Ashley said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your perspective - it's much needed. :) Also, it makes me happy that you're going to be the coolest aunt ever. 'Cause I can so see you being freaking awesome. :)

Erin said...

lovely quotes and lovely thoughts.

mrs. m said...

Awesome. This has given me lots to think about. Good for you, too.

Jen Nelson said...

Whoa! Go you!! I am super impressed! I know how huge it is for you to take on a random little!

Love you!

Kristin said...

I think you're right on with this one. Before we moved to Utah and got poor, I used to really spoil my nieces and nephews. I loved writing them notes and doing little things for them - things there parents couldn't do. After we moved to Utah and they were physically closer to us, I'd take them to McDonalds once in a while or just do something fun. My one little nephew called me "The Other Mommy." I loved it.

Now that we have Baylie, I don't do as much and I miss it. The nephew mentioned above was really upset when we got Baylie because he considered me his. He's finally gotten used to her and realized I can still love him too.

I know that you can have a HUGE impact as the cool aunt. You'll have a blast doing it too.

Jamie said...

It was coherent! And I think I needed to hear this. I am also trying to live in the now instead of waiting for that "perfect moment." I'm so happy for you that you had this "epiphany" and are wanting to act on this new found realization. Thanks for this post because it inspired me! Good luck trying to live in the now. It will be worth it, I think. :)

lauren said...

so maybs it was fortuitous that said little niece was given a name that you would have loved to give your own child. maybs the Lord works in mysterious ways. i'm proud of you. get better and come visit me.

Shannon said...

I'm so glad you had this experience. I don't think it's a small epiphany at all; I think it's rather grand, and I'm glad you shared it. I count being an aunt as my most precious role next to being Ryan's wife. And I do believe that mothering is a role for all women, whether they are called "mom" or not. To nurture, to uplift, to care for others; that is so fulfilling and is what mothering is all about, no?

kimsueellen said...

Kenna this makes me teary...and makes me pray for you all the harder. Thank you for sharing your innermost. Perhaps I can persuade you to hold Millz sometime, she is a miracle worth holding for a bit...maybe it will rub off on you.


Anonymous said...

I'm really glad I got to read this post! And just for the record, I knew a long time ago you had the potential to be the greatest aunt ever! I'm glad you feel so comfortable with our Little A (and yes, I say 'our' because I will share her with you, no questions asked, ANYTIME you want her). It is obvious that she is also very comfortable with you. I know she may have seemed a bit fussy at times, but trust me, that's nothin'! It was so good to see you guys! You are stupendous, and will undoubtedly leave an imprint on more lives than you can imagine!

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