Hope Can Do Great Things, You Know

30 Dec

Recently I was asked to name something that made me feel proud of myself. The question caught me way off guard.

Stop and think about it for a second. What would your answer be?

My first impulse was to say the kids, because it’s true, I’m proud of being their mom. But it isn’t really something I do alone; Jackson and Abby are pretty spectacular on their own. (And if I’m being totally honest, raising these Bensten kids takes a whole village and the neighboring town over.)

On the spot, my mind scrambled to things like, I drank a whole bottle of water before noon today! Or, I made it to work and back home with the gas light on! You know, really stand-out accomplishments that make me seem like I’ve got it all together. Haters gonna hate.

But then I found my answer: I’m actually really proud of this blog. I decided to start it on a whim, without any real direction, and it’s grown from there. I’m proud of the posts, some funny, some informational, some cathartic. I found a way to give my story to the world.

Watching some of the posts go viral was pretty cool. I started blogging in July and the site’s been viewed almost 72,000 times since then! I didn’t think anyone would really read them! It’s funny to me that the most popular post was the one I wrote the quickest: Hey Full-Term Baby: Here are 10 Reasons Why Preemies are the Real Rockstars. Whew, some of the mean comments I got on that one…I’m working on my thick skin.

If I’m honest, this blog has been a long time in the making. It stems from a SMAD (School of Media Arts and Design) degree from JMU, with a concentration in print journalism. Did you know I actually wanted to be a TV reporter?  After one semester interning at the Harrisonburg ABC affiliate…um…NO THANK YOU. Reporting is way harder than it looks. It seems all glamorous and super, duper fun, but it’s a lot of stress and hard work for little pay unless you make it big. And you have to do your own makeup unless you’re Barbara Walters. So instead, I decided to pursue marketing/public relations and eventually design.

About three years after getting started in my career, Ev and I had lovely, rolly, polly Jackson. Almost four years later, sweet itty, bitty Abigail. And much like the chemo did to Jackson’s appetite, I lost my taste for just about everything. Except for being a caregiver.

Eventually I’ve learned to balance doctors and appointments and therapies. I enjoy sending them off to school and going back into the office. They’re both happy. Though neither of them remember being sick, it’s changed everything about me from the way I see and understand the world to the way I react to things that used to keep me up at night. These days I just kick the Big, Bad Wolf in the nose and go right back to sleep.

I hope this blog is here for people who need it. I hope a dad searching for Neuroblastoma survivors finds Jackson. I hope a frightened mom looking for positive stories about premature babies with brain bleeds finds Abby. I hope one day I’ll get the ambition to write my book. I hope Abby stays in her bed tonight. I hope Jackson stops ramming his new remote control truck into my foot when I cook dinner. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Hope can do great things, you know.

I’m looking forward to what the next year has in store for Mothering Miracles. Here’s to 2015!

2 thoughts on “Hope Can Do Great Things, You Know

  1. You are so truly wonderful! Being a food allergy mom is different, and rarely do I have to encounter CHKD and the staff. It’s quite a bit intimidating, as I’m turning over his care to someone else, and I serve as his full time “food/anything intake watcher”…answers are sought after, and I’m petrified to let him leave my sight…your knowledge of CHKD and how to advocate for your child goes beyond the ugly “c” and the NICU, it reaches every parent who has to enter those doors and begin batteries of tests to hopefully find answers, or finally begin to be able to get better questions asked for the right answer. You help to slice huge fears in mcnugget size pieces and help to find the humor in it all. Your purpose and worth far exceeds what you know. But the best examples are sleeping 🙂 Thank you….

  2. Natasha! That’s really kind of you. Thanks for this. I love mcnugget size…haha! I’m so glad this week went well for you guys!

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