the hood of mother

when you’re bad at that thing you thought you’d be good at

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Yesterday we were at Gymboree when Thane got his leg stuck between two wooden dowels in a rocking toy. It was amazing how my mom instincts kicked in and how quickly I got him out…. I’m kidding. Actually my claustrophobia and panic kicked in, after pulling at the leg with no budging I started frantically looking around for a freaking ax to chop that sucker apart with, and all I could think was “in the movies there is ALWAYS an ax, always. It’s right next to the fire extinguisher. Where is the fire extinguisher? Oh my dear heavens there is no fire extinguisher, if there is a fire right now how will I get all three of us out of here?!! ” Because that’s a normal place for your mind to go.

At this point Tal came over to try to rock the stupid rocking toy. This was not as helpful as he imagined it to be. And as I sat there (for SECONDS!!) trying to figure out what to do and trying to hold Tal off, another mom calmly came over, offered to help, pulled up Thane’s pant leg, twisted things a little and rescued him. And me.

And that’s when I realized two things: we’re hardly ever actually alone. People are almost always willing to come give a hand when we’re sucking at whatever we thought we’d be good at. And second: it had happened. I hadn’t been capable of doing something my kids really needed me to do. I had failed. And the world hadn’t ended. I had really blundered at this whole mothering thing and the sky hadn’t come crashing down around us. In fact, looking around the room everyone was calm and happy. Including my two kids who were now at the top of the slide enjoying themselves.

I thanked the mom and she told me a funny story about leaving her car door open. And that was it. Everything was fine. Except for the fact that the toddlers were thirsty now and I had forgotten the sippy cups. But that’s why God made Starbucks.

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{{Pictures from the park last week.}}

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adoption related seriousness

the story that didn’t start with me (birth & adoption and honoring their story)

It’s so easy, too easy really to slip into thinking I’m telling them their stories when really I’m telling them mine.

Because their stories don’t begin with the moment I heard about them, the moment that first picture made my heart go pitter patter, or the moment I met them. Their story begins with them. With their mother and father and the moment they were created. Their next nine months wrapped inside their mother. As close as two humans can be. Then more months, more changes, more stories that are theirs to have and mind to guard. A foster family, loved and cherished. And then, and only then do my husband and I step into their story. From their perspective.

This is important because it’s too easy to slip into thinking that our story is the one they are living. And it’s not. Adoption isn’t meant to be a rewriting of everything that’s gone before. The family they have now doesn’t erase the family they don’t. And it’s their right to feel whatever they feel for that family. And it’s our duty as their other parents to listen. To be okay. To celebrate what they received from that family. To acknowledge that our children’s feelings are “right” no matter what they are because their feelings are theirs. Continue reading “the story that didn’t start with me (birth & adoption and honoring their story)”

broken and okay

today is the yesterday you’re going to be all nostalgic about tomorrow

We’re in Colorado, in the town where Nate and I met, spending the holidays with family. Our first little condo is here, the one we bought right before our wedding. I hadn’t been been back there for years. We went over Monday to check on some things, to figure out new flooring once the current tenants leave, and to reminisce. On the drive back I told Nate “I miss the us that lived there.” The truth is I miss the us that I remember. The slightly edited version where all the spectacular memories rise to the top and the boring ones sink to the bottom and you’re left with nothing but the creamiest cream and the peaches to put it on. {{If we weren’t lactose intolerant/allergic to dairy. But why spoil a perfectly good word picture?}}

We also hauled around 8 boxes out of the rafters in the garage that have been there since we moved. Boxes of costumes. See, I used to write and direct little plays for a little group of kids at the little church where we met. And it was one of my favorite things ever. As I sorted through the boxes and put 99% in bags to go to goodwill I smiled at every funny memory they contained. Super Truth’s blue sequined cape. A hideous plain blazer. A horrible poodle costume. I smiled at every single one. And that made me glad I waited to go through them. Because when we left they did nothing but make me cry.

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Continue reading “today is the yesterday you’re going to be all nostalgic about tomorrow”