Wannabe

As a wannabe-mother-to-be, baby showers suck. They suck the tears out of you, the why-can’t-I-be-a-moms out of you.

What doesn’t suck: your mom checking in on you and asking how you’re feeling in the middle of it all.

Today, I’m ok. But ok is ok.

Who’s afraid of needles?

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My husband definitely isn’t. I lost count after 40 and he said he didn’t feel but one of them near his ankle. 

 

Today was a big day. I feel a sense of relief, even if it’s fleeting. He finally made his appointment to see the acupuncturist and our first meeting happened today. 

 

Preliminary treatment is once a week for the next four weeks. The acupuncturist said he is looking forward to helping my husband “turn energy into essence.” I like that.

 

So, we have two mottos now: “Turn energy into essence” and “Let the swimmers be free!”

 

Does August Bring Baby Showers?

We’ve all heard the saying April showers bring May Flowers, but does August bring showers too? For me it does by way of baby showers. So far two and counting, and I know a few others are on their way.

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So, I had to go in search of cards for these showers. This sight alone made my eyes water. I’m a sap for well-written cards. I was being tested in the baby section.

At first, I felt sad. More than sad. I wanted to take one of the cards and address it to myself. That was my way of being hopeful. But then I came across an adoption card and my sadness floated away. The card was simple but touching. The message emphasized what the word family means and what it should be.

Walking out of this section, I felt a little giddy. Definitely hopeful. And I wasn’t even trying to trick myself into feeling it. I know I’ll receive a card from this section one day.

Next week, I’ll tackle shopping for the actual gifts for the baby showers.

The Overdue Poetry of Parenthood?

I came across this article by David Orr on my Twitter feed today: It’s A Genre! The Overdue Poetry of Parenthood. A few people I know resist writing poems about parenthood or their children. Why is this? I’m curious to know their thoughts on this article and why they resist “parenthood” poetry.

More importantly, Orr’s article makes me think about “Non-parenthood poetry” too. I feel there is a lack of it. Or am I not reading in the right places? Where are these poems? I know I’ve written a few, but I want to read these written by others who share similar experiences

. I think I’ve found a new project to work on. If you’ve read any, I’d love for you to share them with me.

Adoption Fears

I finished reading Joan Didion’s Blue Nights last night once we returned home from our Ruidoso trip. I could hardly put the book down while we were there. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. As enthralled as I was in this book, a huge part of me thinks I shouldn’t have read it, as Didion details many of the fears I’ve had over adopting a child.

Recently, I’ve been wanting a child so badly, I’ve almost told my husband, “Screw it. I don’t want to wait anymore. Let’s adopt a child now. There are so many children that need a good family. Why are we waiting to start the family we’ve been wanting/trying to start for years now?” Every child I see makes me want to say it more and more.

But then, I read the following from Blue Nights:

Adoption, I was to learn although not immediately, is hard to get right.

As a concept, even what was then it’s most widely approved narrative carried bad news: if someone “chose” you, what does that tell you?

And then, later on in the book:

All adopted children, I am told, fear that they will be abandoned by their adoptive parents, as they believe themselves to have been abandoned by their natural.

All adoptive parents, I do not need to be told, fear that they do not deserve the child they were given, that the child will be taken from them.

I already feel as if a child has been taken from me, as if the two children I’ve dreamed of my entire life and named then renamed over the years have been taken from me, and then I read that last passage. It’s more than heartbreaking. It’s the continued breaking of the already broken pieces. In this case, the heart is not a metaphor. I can feel its aching.

Before we even knew the “final” results of Tim’s condition, we’d already ruled out adoption for the same reasons Didion writes about. I never thought about an adopted child feeling “adopted” or as if he or she were a matter of “choice.” My biggest fear was Tim and myself being abandoned by our own child in favor of his or her biological family. What constitutes one’s “true” family?

Looking Up

Pew

Sunday morning mass reminded me of a playground this morning. There were children everywhere! There were six kids in the pew in front of us spanning the ages of three weeks to six years, with one lone boy in the pack.

The girls were staring at each other shyly and smiling, eventually sharing snacks but not their coloring books. One of the girls, wearing purple-sequined flip-flops, sat with feet swinging and colored so intensely with her pink, scented marker that she tore through the page. Another cuddled on her dad’s shoulder, long and dark hair in her face, and fluttered her eyelashes at my husband. He squeezed my hand and held it hard.

It was a bittersweet mass. I felt joy at all the life right in front of us.

I laughed as one of the girls drove her yellow dinosaur-on-wheels along the top of the pew and dropped it. She wedged herself as far as she could under the pew to retrieve it.

My grandfather cooed at the smiling baby boy sleeping in the carseat next to his mom.

My grandmother delicately placed her hand atop his sister’s hand as she held onto the back of the pew to admire us.

My dad waved as another little girl showed her doll of to him then quickly hid her away.

I bowed my head in prayer as a few tears escaped. I didn’t want anyone to see them. When I lifted my head, I saw one of the fathers kneeling in prayer too. His daughter stood next to him, observing his moment in prayer, and as children love to do, she quickly worked to mimic him. She knelt down next to him, folded her hands in front of her, and closed her eyes. It struck me that she couldn’t see over the pew. Just then, with her hands still joined, her head full of curls leaned back, and looked up.

I’m grateful for this moment, for this small child who today reminded me that even when you can’t see over the pew, you can still look up. I’m remaining hopeful. I’m praying and looking up.

Hiding Out

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This is how I feel today. I need to hide out, but I don’t think I’m doing a great job of it. Oh well. At least I’m trying.

I thought I needed a girl’s night out last night. I thought heading to the local pub with a close friend and some other women would help relieve some stress. I thought I needed a good laugh or two.

I ordered a glass of red wine. The three others wanted red but ordered white simply because the name of the wine matched how they were feeling: like a “Mad Housewife.” The long happy hour became filled with stories about babies, kids, what they’re eating, watching, playing with, the funny things they’re doing. A lovely catalog of children growing up and the mothers they drive to the point of madness after pulling down the left side of their shorts and underwear in front of the food court at Target among other things.

Then the conversation turns to me: “So, what’s been going on with you?”

On a separate note, although I cried upon first hearing this song today, it’s almost like a warm hug. My time will come.

Sleepwalking

The Pier

A sign came my way in the form of a poem this morning:

 

We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.

We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-

walkers who rise out of their calm beds

 

and walk through the skin of another life.

We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness

and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.

– from “For the Sleepwalkers” by Edward Hirsch