In the depths of my battle with severe Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety – when I would cry every night about waking up and starting a new, difficult day and and also most mornings about getting out of bed and going to work – my daughter did something for me that changed and impacted me in ways I will never be able to fully explain…
She was 3 years-old, and attending preschool at the same place I work. At the end of recess – 45 minutes before I picked her up – she grabbed a “present” for me. She held onto that present for the entire 45 minutes of ending her school day and dismissal until I walked in to pick her up to bring her home.
And what was that present? A handful of sand. From the sandbox.
It was the cutest thing – she thought about me, and loved me so much that she wanted to bring a part of her day – SAND – to me as a gift. I think I started crying and, of course, thanked her profusely… while doing what sentimental moms do and saving that handful of sand forever and ever in a ziplock bag. (Totally normal, right?! Haha.)
Well, that handful of sand now – after a year – is still in my possession, in a journal that I like to call my “happiness book” (or my “PPD book”), which my mom gave me. Little did she know how important this journal would become to me… The front of this journal says “Enjoy the little things… for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things”. Just like my daughter’s handful of sand.
That day, when she gave me that sand, she reminded me that even through the seemingly unending darkness I was trying to navigate through… even in my darkest moments when I truly believed my kids would be BETTER off without me… she loved me… unconditionally. Scarlett thought of me while she could have been distracted by other, normal, 3 year-old things… art projects, bugs, snacks, boogers… you know.
But she gave me a handful of sand. Maybe silly, “dirty”, and messy to some… but unmeasurably precious to me.
So, that is what I want to share now… my own kind of “handful of sand”… grains of pain, truth, and hopefully wisdom from my own battle with Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety, in hopes that maybe they can encourage and make a difference for even one other person.
So, here it begins… my own possibly-silly, “dirty”, messy handful of sand… for someone out there who needs it…