Uncategorized

to the children I am not preparing adequately for adulthood

Lately, as I watch you take these steps into independence I’m struck by everything I feel I’m failing at. Everything I am not preparing you adequately for when you reach adulthood. I ask myself why cant I stop all the pain and yes, failure you will walk through?

It’s my fault.

Yes, according to all the books and all the speakers who tell me to do this and that. Who tell me if I make all the right choices now you will make all the “right” choices later.

No, you will instead enter adult hood flawed and unprepared for perfection. But if I could I would walk with you all the paths that are coming. I would shield you from all the pain that has ever been and ever will be. I would build a time machine and save you from all the pain that happened back then. Even the pain I caused.

Because the truth of it is that no one enters adulthood prepared for it. You will make mistakes. Bad ones. You will have your heart broken, by people you believed in just a little too much. You will fail. Continue reading “to the children I am not preparing adequately for adulthood”

Advertisements
broken and okay, cave paintings of the soul, mountains that don't move, Uncategorized

I don’t know how you do it (and other stupid things we say)

when you want to be real
Maybe we could stop trying to fix things so quickly. Some things are unfixable. Some things stay broken. And advice has rarely changed any broken thing. I don’t want advice. I don’t want pity. I want someone to look me in the eye and say “this is hard, and I see you..”

A diagnosis, a death, a physical or mental illness. A crushing betrayal, an act of indifference. Something that didn’t go as planned. An iceberg that came out of nowhere and wrecked us. That moment our unsinkable ship sank. Whatever it is that happened to me, to you, you know what it is – that thing.

That thing that is always there. Like a phantom pain with an invisible scar. Or a gaping wound we keep under bandages because of some internal sense that tells us that no one wants to see that. Continue reading “I don’t know how you do it (and other stupid things we say)”

Uncategorized

the measure of a human: when loving flowers was enough

Once upon a time, when we were young, what was liked was enough to define us. People would ask how old we were and then they would ask what we liked. Daisies, tv shows about builders, spinning in circles, slides, our parents, our siblings, cars and planes and trains.

These were the things we loved. These were the answers we gave. These were the things people talked about when they talked about us. .

Then we grew up, and the questions started changing. Now we were asked what we were doing, what we were accomplishing. Had we gone to college? Gotten married? Had kids? Good career?

So we started to do that too. We started defining ourselves by what we were doing.  There is a moment in life when loving flowers is no longer enough, you have to be a gardener. Continue reading “the measure of a human: when loving flowers was enough”

broken and okay, mountains that don't move

come sit with me in shadows (bearing witness to silent pain)

come sit with me in shadows

Come sit with me in shadows, I can’t bear the light today.

The light’s a mockery, a mirage, it moves each time I get close. I don’t want to chase the light today.  Today I’m sitting in the shadows, and I need someone who will come and sit with me.

I need someone who won’t try to fix this unfixable thing. Someone who won’t tell me how the light means everything happens for a reason. Sometimes there is no reason.

I don’t need to hear about the light right now. I know the light exists. We all know the light exists. But here in this moment I don’t think the light can reach me. I know the light can’t reach me. And I need you to be okay with that.

I need someone who can sit beside me and bear witness to my pain. Not tell me I shouldn’t feel it. Not try to tell me it will be okay. Not today. Today I need someone to sit with me in shadows,  it’s the only place that I can be.

………………..

{{This is the post I tried to write all year. Shadows come and go. In this moment the light can reach me. That doesn’t mean the shadows weren’t real or that I won’t sit in them again. But when you’re in the shadows it’s hard to write exactly how that feels.

So today I write for myself but also for anyone who sits in shadows. Friends whose hearts can’t be all merriness and light this Christmas. I write because I want you to know you’re not alone. I write because I hope a friend can come and sit with you today.}}

Uncategorized

maybe we should stop thinking we’re awesome just because we love people we consider different than us

I read another article a few weeks ago. By a white woman. She spoke, in lavish and poetic detail about the people she saw around her. Carefully pointing out all the ways they were different from her. Mostly skin color. And age. And then she spoke of smiling at a Muslim woman just after the world learned of the horror in Paris. She smiled. She loved. And somehow I got the feeling this was meant to be inspirational.

That article is the one that sent me over the edge but these articles are all over. Humans loving other humans who are “nothing like them” and then expounding on how wonderful they are for being able to do that. People who are differently-abled than themselves. Different race. Different religion. Different economic status. God is often praised for giving them this ability.

Newsflash: This isn’t a superpower. You were not bitten by an empathy-spider. This is basic, decent human-ship.

Maybe the real problem in the world is that we think this is special. That we think loving people we consider different from us is something so outside of nature’s laws it needs to be applauded.  It shouldn’t need to be. It should just be… normal. And if it isn’t. Somehow it’s become something to be praised and fawned over.

Love is special. Love is sacred. Love is magic. Love is the greatest power the universe holds.

But giving love to someone who you think of as an “other”? That isn’t special. And if we quit thinking it was maybe we could spend more time wondering why we think it should be harder to love those who “aren’t like us.” Maybe we could really look internally and admit that yes, we have internal biases. We have prejudices. We have things that are not lovely in there.

And then we could change them. Because you can. You can change those biases, but ONLY once you admit they are there. Like all problems you can only find a solution once you admit that yes, you have a problem.

If the world was a house and that house had a leaky roof and we went around pointing out that WE WERE CLEANING UP THE WATER and that made us amazing then when would we have time to actually get up on the roof, find the problem, and fix it?

Maybe Chicken Little was right. Maybe the sky is falling. But who cares about that when we can point out how much we care about the pieces

maybe loving people we think of as different than us really isn't that newsworthy

And I am absolutely  sure you could scour my blog and find me guilty of this somewhere. I’ll probably be guilty of it in the future.  But if faced with that truth I hope I can be human enough to admit it, own up to it, and change it.

 

…………………….

{{Comments are disabled on my blog. You are welcome to email me at wymsel@live.com

This is for multiple reasons: Positive comments freak me out. Negative comments freak me out. Those are things I’m sure I should work through in therapy. I hope to once I get through my 25.5 more pressing issues. But honestly the biggest reason is I feel responsible for anything that happens within a comment section. If someone posts something about agreeing with me but then adds their own spin on it I feel compelled to say “I’m glad you like it but that’s not what I really said and in fact I disagree with you” and that’s kind of obnoxious. And then sometimes people do it to each other which is even worse. So I disabled them. But I’m grateful for every email I’ve received. Even (usually, kind of) the negative ones. So that’s how it is and thanks for reading anyway.}}

adoption related mushiness, adoption related seriousness

I don’t want you to be grateful: a letter from your (adoptive) mother

I wish so many things for you – the children who have my heart for all of time:

I hope that you will know how to love and be loved.

I hope that you will be happy.

I hope that you will live the life you want to have and not the life anyone, including me, dreams for you.

I hope you will be kind.

I hope you will be brave.

I hope you can view the world as it truly is and still find the strength to believe you can make it better.

And along with all those things I hope with everything in me that you take my love for granted.

Continue reading “I don’t want you to be grateful: a letter from your (adoptive) mother”

adoption related mushiness, adoption related seriousness

"forever family" and other things I want to promise

I dropped Youngest off at a playcare center yesterday for a few hours. Oldest was at school and it was my husband’s birthday so he and I were doing a lunch date. Something we haven’t done since, well something we’ve never done since Oldest came home.

Youngest was excited to play with the trains, the slide, and all the other goodies they have to entice children away from their parents. But he also wasn’t keen to leave me. I talked to him on the way in and sang our little goodbye song that talks about how I’ll come back. (Sidenote: thank you Daniel Tiger for your parenting wisdom.) Then I signed him in and handed him over to the worker. She sensed his nervousness and said, as many care-workers do, “It’s okay. Mommies always come back.”

Except they don’t.

Continue reading “"forever family" and other things I want to promise”

Uncategorized

motherhood is a competition and tomorrow is our olympics

I’m over Mother’s Day.

I love my kids. I love my mom. But I hate the over-complication of every.single.thing. in today’s culture. Especially the social media culture. Motherhood is the ultimate competition sport and tomorrow is our olympics. At the end of the day most people wind up feeling like losers when we should just be celebrating that we’re living at all.

The rest of the world celebrates Women’s Day. I like that idea. I like the idea of celebrating who we are and not just who we are to someone else.

My social media feeds are full of articles on Mother’s Day. There are articles sharing how infertile women feel about the holiday. About how churches could handle things better in their services tomorrow. There are articles about being an adoptive mom. About being a mom after loss. About choosing never to have kids at all.

To me they all have a common theme: I want to matter. I want my existence to be validated. I want to feel good enough during a holiday that can bring out the insecurities in almost everyone. Am I a good mom? Am I a good daughter? Am. I. Good. Enough.

Continue reading “motherhood is a competition and tomorrow is our olympics”