Today I Lived And You Did Too
Syndicated from, Nov 14, 2013

3 minute read


Today I was awakened by the sound of shuffling feet.
It was my early-bird riser in her big sister’s pajamas that drug across the floor.
I wanted to pull the covers over my head and feign sleep.
But instead I got up and made toaster waffles that she said tasted “divine.”
She kissed me with syrupy sweet lips.
Getting up wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

Today she lost her shoes for the 37th time in two weeks.
It was right before we needed to head out the door.
I wanted to scream, to scold, to throw my hands in the air.
But instead I held her. I held her. My shoeless girl.
Together we found them wet with dew in the backyard and she whispered, “Sorry, I am forgetful, Mama.”
Being calm wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

Today the birds chirped noisily through the open back door.
Their cheerful chatter seemed to accentuate the deadlines, the laundry, the mess piled up around me.
I wanted to slam the door and silence the temptation; there was so much to do.
But instead I put on my running shoes and my favorite hat.
With each step, I got closer to what mattered and farther from what didn’t.
Letting go wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

Today I stood in front of the mirror sizing myself up.
It was apparent that stress and lack of sleep had left their mark.
I wanted to dissect each wrinkle, pinch each layer of soft skin
But instead I looked away and said, “Not today. Only love today.”
Loving myself wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

Today I threw together a simple dinner and scooped it onto the plate.
It looked pathetic and unappealing.
I wanted to question my worthiness based on my cooking skills.
But instead I hollered, “Let’s eat outside on the porch! Everything tastes better outside.”
Offering myself grace wasn’t my first response. But I did it.
Today I lived.

Today I was on a mission to tuck my child into bed as quickly as possible.
It had been a tiring day, and I just wanted to be alone.
She asked if she could listen to my heartbeat.
Reluctantly, I lay down beside her and she drew her head to my chest.
“We have the same heartbeat,” she announced.
“How do you know?” I asked expecting some child-like reasoning, but instead her poignant response brought me to my knees.

“Because you are my mom.”

And there it was. My confirmation.

To choose to stay when I want to retreat.
To choose to forgive when I want to condemn.
To choose to love when I want to attack.
To choose to hope when I want to doubt.
To choose to stand when I want to fall.

Today I lived.
It wasn’t my first response.
But I share the same heartbeat with two precious souls.
And that’s enough to get me through the day.

I will choose to live again tomorrow.

Today I Lived


When I sat down to write this piece, I intended it to be a Mother’s Day tribute. But in its completion, I clearly saw that this message was not just for mothers. It is for anyone who shows up when life is hard. It is for anyone who can be counted on time and time again. It’s for anyone who loves even when love is not the first response. If you know someone like this, please send it to her or him. And if you find this message to be hopeful and healing, please share it with the world. I think we can all agree — the world could use more love.


Reprinted with permission. Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a decade of experience working with parents and children. You can join her journey to grasp what matters through "The Hands Free Revolution" on her blog. 

9 Past Reflections