my first mother's day with my baby, zeke.

my first mother's day with my baby, zeke.

What’s my story?

That’s what I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. How do I articulate it? Why does it matter? Who am I, really?

By day, I coordinate and edit content for The Salvation Army on the West coast, which means that I get to tell story after story of unique, incredible people bringing beauty and light to their communities. At all hours, I am growing a little family of my own, learning how to be someone’s mommy, and looking for ways to bring joy to our every day.

 My parents and i, circa 1990.

My parents and i, circa 1990.

While late-night rocking (mom-style), I started thinking about his life, what his story will be and how I can make sure he has every good experience a little boy can have. It also made me think about my own story and how different—even out of place at times—I feel now.

I am a new me, and I’m still defining what that looks like. (Aren’t we all?)

I like to think I’m in the business of selling change—to enable people to see possibilities, solutions, and their part in them. Maybe one of us will help to find the next hero, a change-agent for good. So I studied journalism and later taught it—up until I had my own live-in student. 

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I came to love story early in my own. I was that kid who felt sheer joy checking books off of my library’s summer reading list. I’ve long loved learning, probably because it’s in my blood. Raised by a kindergarten teacher and police officer who trained other officers, I planned to be a teacher too. I even developed lesson plans for my younger siblings while on family vacations. Yep.

But then, I realized that little kids are really honest (“You have a lot of red dots on your face”—thanks, kid) and that I had no interest in many liberal studies classes (i.e. earth science). When I happened into an intro to journalism elective, I was hooked.

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I vividly remember my first real reporting outing as an intern. I met Jill, who lived in a Salvation Army shelter for homeless families affected by HIV/AIDS. Jill told me about the moment she learned she was positive—and pregnant. The baby would be born infected. Her baby, then 2, had to take four vials of antiretroviral medication a day.

Jill became a mom and it changed her for good. She had a new story to write. Wherever Jill is today, I pray she is doing well. 

As I now learn alongside my babe, through his eyes, I’ve set out to redefine and curate my own story, too. I hope I can inspire him to live a good life. It’s no cliché that the world needs more good, and together, we’re going to build a story worth living and telling.  

So let’s do this new thing. We’re still us, you and me, with the added bonus of being called “mom.” As we learn along the way, remember it’s a story that we get to write.