What's in a story? Guest post with Late Night Plays

Last month, I wrote a post providing an opportunity for those smaller bloggers 
{those with less than 500 followers}
to have a space to guest post here at Holy Craft.
I was overwhelmed with the response.
Mostly because I set the post to go live while we were on our Great Midwest Trip, and I was flooded with e-mails while I was on vacation!
I was thrilled though, that so many of you were interested in taking the time to share some of your thoughts with my readers.
Our first guest blogger is a dear sweet friend of mine who I have never really met in real life.
Louise is a caring mom of four and a writer who paints amazing word pictures.
We "met" nearly a dozen years ago in a moms message board and through the years her generously caring spirit shines through in her writing.  I'm thankful for facebook, her blog and instagram for a way to connect with Louise and her family.
Today I am honoured {for my Canadian friends!} to welcome Louise from Late Night Plays.
What’s in a story?
Louise sees her family’s life through a storyteller’s lens. She began blogging to practice her writing and develop a collection of family memories. We love her stories because they allow us to see the day-to-day moments of motherhood in a different perspective. This blog is for moms who are fans of poetic writing and the narrative voice ~ savvymoms.ca

Late Night Plays is my story catcher, dream saver, and family album. 
At least that's what I wanted it to be.
It grew into a space that inspires others to do the same.
Let's start at the beginning.
I entered into motherhood determined it would be as magical as I imagined. 
There was joy in first words, first steps, and first days of school—but the beautiful moments that hide in the ordinary were getting lost. 
By the time I had three kids under the age of four, I was stretched thin and letting resentment sneak in.
I trudged through many of my days—beautiful babies pulling and tugging at me—stepping over and around the magic that swirled at my feet. 
And then, on a particularly long and challenging day, I played a DVD of family movie clips to break up the boredom.
Everything changed—I had always considered those clips something for me.
But I watched with amazement as my children devoured their stories. I saw how much they meant to them. 
One of my favorite childhood photos is of my mom bathing me in our front room. I've always felt I could see her love in that frame. And I knew my dad, on the other side of the camera, must have seen it, too.

Each time we brought a new baby home, I would make it a habit to tell them stories about what they were like when they were babies. It helped each of them adjust to a new sibling; by hearing they once needed me the same way.
Tell me what I was like, Mama. 
I knew hiding in that question there was a need to know how I felt about them. 
And the joy in re-telling those moments was mutual—the memories filled me up, too.
Finally, I made the decision to write them down.
And I knew I wanted to do more than just tell the story; I had to put myself in the narrative. 
I would look for perspective, and fill the spaces between the lines with love and wisdom and hope. 
My children will be able to return to this time capsule, and find themselves.
But they will also find me. The real and honest me.
They will know what I was thinking and feeling in those moments.
They will understand that I struggled and triumphed. 
They will know these years with them, were the greatest in my life. 
They will know it is a privilege to be their parent. 

I look for stories in my every day now. I look past the birthdays and milestones for our quiet moments, too.
And under this microscope, the ordinary is magnified enough to see beauty, poignancy, and truth.
I write letters to my children, for a time when they won't be as eager to hear advice from me firsthand. 
I tell them about the love story that created our family, with the hope that it will help them find their own way when it comes to love.
Recently, I read a compelling opinion piece in the New York Times about the importance of storytelling within families.
And I was reassured that the time I've dedicated to my blog has been well-spent.
Whether you write online or in a journal, or share at gatherings around the kitchen table...tell your family stories. Don't leave out the hard stuff, either. Share all of it, so you can look back and see how far you've come together. 
Thank you, Rachel, for giving me a space to share my experience.
And thank you, readers, for taking the time to read about my journey.
I would be honored to hear from you and have you join me on my storytelling mission.  

Thank you so much Louise for sharing this with us.
Please go visit Late Night Plays and spend some time peeking around.
 You won't be disappointed!
ps-if you would like more information about guest posting at Holy Craft visit here.

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