Have you ever been slapped in the face with a reality that you didn’t even know existed? Emotions so raw that you can’t control them when they come bubbling up to the surface?

Unfortunately, that happened to me yesterday morning in front of complete strangers. But more on that in a moment…

The day started out well enough. I was thrilled to attend Hallmark’s Moments Between the Milestones event in Washington, D.C. It was a lovely morning that brought together bloggers from across the area as well as some of the most wonderfully creative minds at Hallmark. (Yep. THAT Hallmark. Some photos here.)

What an honor and a treat to be a part of that crowd!

And it was in front of that crowd, that I had a little breakdown.

We were lead through a writing workshop in which we were to randomly select three words from an envelope to use creatively in a piece of writing. There were no boundaries, only time limitations. We were encouraged to do free flow writing and just let the words take you on a journey.

My three words were MONSTERS… WINDOW… GIGGLE. (Seemed easy enough. I mean, I’d always called the boys “my little monsters” so I felt pretty confident .)

What came out of me was an emotional piece on them growing up…

“They are monsters. Not literally. Well, sometimes. When they try to assert themselves. When they try to be grown up. When they want their own way. Sometimes I don’t even recognize them…. my babies.

They are babies no more.

I remember when they were small. Well, smaller. When they needed me more. When they were little and momma scared away the monsters. We would gaze out the window for hours looking at the sky. Gazing at the rain. Finding animals in the clouds.

I sometimes catch a look or giggle that reminds me of those times and it makes my heart melt.

It is hard to let go, however necessary. We still giggle. We still gaze. But things change. Even the monsters.”

When I was asked to share what I wrote, I had a complete crying jag of a meltdown. In. Front. Of. Strangers.

I know. Not my finest I’ve-got-it-together moment.

I’m sure some in the room were sympathetic. I’m sure some could even relate. I’m sure some thought I forgot my medication.

Looking back on it, I can honestly say that I had NO IDEA I was so emotional about this transition in their/our life. Our daily pace is hectic. There is not much time for reflection. This exercise forced me to acknowledge some feelings that I didn’t realize existed.

Wow. Dare I say, “Thank you Hallmark?”

Yes, I believe I shall. Now, please excuse me while I go hug some not-so-little-anymore monsters…

How about you? Have you ever had a moment or realization about something like this?