#Blogust: Seeing the World Through New Eyes

As I look back on my childhood, I often feel like I missed something. I spent my early years in what I can only describe as a hyper-competitive, ultra-focused stupor. I can’t say it was all bad. I have many amazing memories, but I wish I had had more fun. I wish that as a small person, I would have taken more time to enjoy the moments only children can know.

And I cannot say that I fully regret choosing to live a carefully plotted life. In fact, I owe a great deal of my adult successes (whatever they may be) to the choices I made as a kid. But still if a young girl asked me for a prescription for the path she should take, I’d steer her in a different direction—one that includes more self-care and reflection—one that allows for a young girl struggling to make sense of herself in a hostile world to feel completely and without shame.  

I’m older and I’ve begun doing the work to see myself as more than a fierce competitor. I’m choosing now to work through those regrets rather than stew in them. And just as I’d begun to disentangle myself from a destructive self-concept, my older sister announced she was pregnant with twins—my first nieces or nephews. 

When she gave birth to twin girls almost two years ago, during what was a major transition in my life, I felt a responsibility to help those baby girls see the world with different eyes than I had. They’d be experiencing a lifetime of firsts, and though I cannot mold them to be what I feel is best. I can be for them what I never felt I had: a soft place to land. I can reassure them that though they will make mistakes and suffer failures, they will always be valued and loved—that caring for them is a joy. 

Becoming an aunt for the first time forced me to reflect on what I never knew. This is my first time caring for someone else as deeply and faithfully as I care for myself, and I am grateful for it. 

During Shot@Life’s Blogust 2014—a month-long blog relay—some of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions will come together and share stories about Happy and Healthy Firsts. Every time you comment on this post and other Blogust contributions, or share them via social media on this website, Shot@Life and the United Nations Foundation pages, Walgreens will donate one vaccine (up to 60,000).  Blogust is one part an overall commitment of Walgreens donating up to $1 million through its “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.”campaign. The campaign will help provide millions of vaccines for children in need around the world. 

Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! For more information, visit shotatlife.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or  

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