Posted by Peggy Kaufman
Many of us have hiked different parts of the Pacific Crest Trail. Imagine that one of us might say to Cheryl [Strayed, author of Wild and Women’s Breakfast guest speaker], “Do you remember the ridge walk towards the northern part of the trail where after miles of not a single tree you could see that enormous beech tree in the distance?” She may remember that ridge and that tree, but that is all that was similar in the shared memory. Her footsteps were only her own, her thoughts were only her own, and her feelings were only her own.
I share this metaphor as many of us here are mothers. Despite this shared experience, we never walk in another mother’s boots. No one here has walked in my boots as a mother. Even though we’ve all had newborns, toddlers, maybe school-age children and more, no one has taken the steps that I took when my son was two or when my daughter was 16. They may be similar steps but they are not mine.