Sunday, November 16, 2014

My kids are whole people

Everyone has and (I believe) is entitled to their own philosophy on child-rearing.  I have yet to read something I buy hook, line and sinker about parenting.  I have yet to meet a parent who does everything right or wrong.  There are some areas I think are harmful...your addiction that's out of control?  Tons of people coming in and out of your house that you may not trust?  Perhaps even if you find yourself doing one bizarre thing that everyone in your culture says is a bad idea but you insist your child be part of it?  Maybe stop and question that too.

But the rest, is how we pass our spirit onto another person.  All of it.  The schooling, the food, the exercise, the speech.  I love the Emmerson quote:  you taught my lips a single speech and a thousand silences.  So is the job of parenting.  And oh ho ho there are no guarantees!  Your lactose free family could easily raise a cheese smuggling person.  Your Muslim child could convert to Judaism....your girl could choose to be a boy.  We can only choose their choices, not yours.

So many challenges.  How to make them nice people?  How to get them to eat enough vegetables?  To me what makes it hard is the thousands of articles insisting some PART of your raising them is going to destroy them as a whole.  And tonight I am annoyed at YET another bashing of the "princess thing".  Look I hate it as much as you.  I was never a princess.  But I also loved it.  Did I want to be a princess with a chocolate castle and a white unicorn?  Uh, yeah, why the hell wouldn't you want that?  I don't even know why boys don't want that.  Our little people princess castle is just as much my sons favorite toy as my daughter's.

Ok, so why don't I just get over it, and why is it annoying?  The constant fearful discourse that if I buy princess things for my daughter she'll have no chance at feminism?  The part of our culture I feel I have long hated is this idea that if girls like it, it can't be as good.  What the hell?  I am not apologizing for my daughter longing to have everything pink and frilly and wrapped up in a bow with a little white kitten on the top.  She has a kick-ass mom applying for a Doctorate.  She has a dad supportive of his wife's career.  Our choices will be the ones she's most likely to emulate.  Let her be 5, you damn article writers.  I'll teach her to respect the girls who find princesses bizarre and annoying.  And you stop posting things on facebook about "how to fix your princess-loving daughter".   Let us work out the real and unreal in time.  Give me time to teach her she is a whole person.  Right now, we can love a little pink.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tools of Sanity

I've been in program for a while.  That means over time, I've been taught to use tools to get through something hard, even something as simple as an offensive comment or a hurtful thought, or someone drinking your coffee.  I am an addict.  I am addicted to blitzing out on food, to making myself vomit, to focusing on my own body as a way to avoid the hardest feelings I have.  And therefore, I need a tool.  A bunch of them.

I've had a tough week, so here some tools that are available to me.
Writing it out
Eating well
Calling others in program

I am eating better.  I am avoiding sugar but not to the extent I wish.  Progress.  I need to remember that the sugar makes me feel better temporarily, but also makes me overreact to things.  It makes me feel out of control.  It makes me less healthy, it makes me fixate on my body.  Blech, sugar.

I feel hardly ready to write it out.  I walked in on my sister sharing what could have been my own unshared feelings with my father today.  It was a small argument for them, and he clearly didn't hear her, which is why I haven't had the argument with him.  It could even be resolved lovingly....these are not feelings that you can't come back from.  Actually they are completely healable.  Is that a word?  Well they are.  But it didn't go well.  It ended tense, angry, with me wishing my dad was in a program like me.  I mean, he kind of is, but I wish he was using tools.  And suddenly I thought, "how can I wish that when I myself am not?"  So here's a tool.  Writing.  I resent that my dad rejects me without knowing.  I resent his wife, and feel guilty that I do, because she is so sick.  I resent that he took every opportunity he could to love someone more than me, and never stood up for his own kids.  I resent that everyone in the world is as worthy of his love as his children.  Even though maybe that's not even true.  So maybe, dad, you just tell me that I'm crazy, and that you love me the most, and all 3 of your kids are the best thing you ever did.  See?  Healable.  But I think he believes the best thing he ever did was find a wife when I was 19.  And so I will still have this gaping hole.  Gaping.  Ugh.

I resent immensely that my father thinks that the sister who doesn't talk to me and I are "equal".  She doesn't talk to ME.  I did what I needed to do to HELP her 5 years ago and she ruthlessly cut me out.  And I know, I know, I know, that I need to figure out her heart...where she was coming from, why she would hurt me like this, and that maybe I could begin to heal.  But I can't.  I just feel pain. with. her.

God, grant me serenity today.  Help me make a good audition recording.  Remind me I can't change my dad, my sisters, my husband.  I can change me, though.  Bless them.  Change me.  BLess them.  Change me.  God, your will has always been better than mine.  I have no idea what that is, but you know.  So your will, not mine, be done.

Remind me nothing beats peace.  Unfortunately many things will hang in the air, and hurt, and it's up to me to come to lay them at your feet and trust (this is the hard part) that you will handle them for me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Cup Runneth Over

This is my first time blogging on a smartphone so you may want to expect lots of type os, and possibly a few weird auto correct moments.  It it also my first time blogging in months and I can't tell you why.  The period between May and October of 2014 will some day be a distant memory, but right now it is constricting and painful to think about.  I will be paying it off financially for a long time, and the scars....they are still dark.  Dark on my husbands forehead, and dark on my heart too.

I wish I could do a blanket apology for all the calls I didn't return, all of the money I had to borrow, all of the things I said to my 5 year old that she'll remember even though I don't want her to.  But everyone deserves their own apology, their own thank yous, and I just pray I remember.

Life got better in October.  Not when we moved, not when hubby got a crappy job that is (thank God) a job.  It just got better all at once.  The house closed, our account has a little money.  Our life is normalish.  We are making plans.  We are living in the moment, because we can't imagine tomorrow.  I am not sure what's next for hubby.  Same prayer--please make it seem to have made sense.  Don't let it end that news just kicked his ass and left him for dead.  I can't bear it.  But I don't know what will be a fix.  I can't guess.  God, help me to have the faith I had before this year of watching the bad dudes win over and over.  How callously I kept my faith all this years while OTHER people lost loved ones to cancer, or violence.  I said "surely God has a plan." But when it was me, stripped of hope, I got pretty damaged.  I feel embarrassed by that.  Not good form at all.

And so I sang this week.  What total joy!  I am teaching music and even a class next term!  I am home with kids and doing what I love and sure we can't actually survive on what we are making yet, but I find myself hoping that maybe I really can still sing again.  Not to be famous, or the best, or some preconceived opera lady I never was, but just have some possibilities of that joy, more frequently.  I forgot I loved singing.  Ain't that weird?

My children are amazing, and I am the luckiest mom around.  My husband is still the man of character I fell in love with, and honestly, we are more
Glued together than one can know what this last year was the way we as a unit do.

You don't have to go far to hear a worse story than your own, but it doesn't help.  What I find helps the most is seeing today.  Taking the kids to the park, relishing this blessed moment, not looking back for anything,  finding my spirit again.

We are not where we were, but we came out the other side.  Every day is a gift now.