Mythical Creatures

This is not about a tattoo. It inspired my tattoo. It was orginally written for the blog John and I wrote to document our adoption process. If you are interested in reading more about that, batzeradopt.blogspot.com.

Mythical Creatures
I had a unicorn baby. I would glimpse his hazel eyes giggling at me from his carseat in my rearview mirror. I would hear her cries echoing through the house at three in the morning, and the phantom me would get up and go smooth her sweaty dark ringlets as she cried for no good reason. I would feel the weight of his tall-for-his-age body on my pant leg as I went about changing laundry loads and emptying the dishwasher. He was going through the clinging to Mommy phase, you see. The petite, too-small-for-her-age length of her would fit perfectly in my arms as I sat doing nothing at all but zoning in front of the TV and she slept, refusing to be put down.I had to let my unicorn baby go. He and she waved good-bye as they went to fulfill the promises of that twit, Jackie Paper, and have adventures in the Land of Hanalee.Now I have a phoenix baby. He rises out of the ashes of disappointments and fear to create hope with his golden song. She does all of the same things the unicorn baby did, taunting me from around corners, but her features are blurred like a hummingbird’s wings. Yet the outline is more defined. She is coming. He will fly, maybe long and far, maybe short and near, but he will come. And we will make her song powerful and strong to withstand and fight against the wind.I may always miss my unicorn baby, but I will always love my phoenix baby.

Quiet Ceremony

I stepped through a door and became a mother. There was no pushing on my part. There was no surgery. There were just years of trying, changing, hoping, and heart-breaking, the labor of adoption, but there was no physical change or birthing process. Without the physical challenge of birth there was no build-up. The only difference between one moment and the next was the baby in my arms. It was the most surreal moment of my life. When you imagine something a million times a day for five years, you start to believe that it can’t really happen outside your head. And then it does. And it is going to change everything. You’d think there would be a ceremony or something, a Lion King moment if you will. Instead the moment is quiet. The brave woman who did go through the physical labor whispered to our son, “Look, it’s your mom and dad,” and she placed him in my arms. It will always be the strongest act of love I will ever witness. Through my tears I managed to whisper, “Thank you.” Then because it is the way of adoption, I turned away from her and her pain to join my husband in our joy.

Perhaps not all ceremonies need be showy.

Prepare

Moist. Moist. Moist. A hated word, but accurate for her surroundings. Water dripped from every surface, horizontal or vertical. Drip. Drip. Drip. It was also dripping off her skin. The minutiae of her body’s contours, hairs, pimples, cuts, scars, fat, dictated the path the rivers of water took as gravity’s uncompromising grip drew it down and away. The escaping water was also taking the warmth with it. Stupid physics. One last time she leaned her forehead to the smooth wall in front of her, closed her eyes and took a deep, moist breath, trying to make it reach her toes before expelling in. Then she turned to part the curtain that blurred the outside world and stepped into her day.

The Moment I Knew

Flashback Friday
John and I met on April 17, 2001. By Memorial Day, I knew there was a whole lot of potential for the relationship, so I figured it was a good time to bring him home to meet My Big Fat Greek Family. If they were going to scare him off, better sooner than later.
Part of our weekend was taking my much younger (20 years) brother to see Shrek. During the scarier part of the movie, a big fiery dragon chasing around the intrepid anti-heroes, I glance over to see my baby brother curled up against John, clutching his arm, just peeking out. And that, my friends, is that. I melted and haven’t truly solidified in the ten years since. Tonight we laid in bed and watched Shrek with our children. How does live get better?

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Magic Moment


My husband John, from daddyrunsalot.com, and I dealt with unexplained infertility for three years before we decided to adopt. It was almost another two years and two disappointments before we were blessed with our son. Two weeks before he was born, I found out I was pregnant. At 32 weeks we found out it was a girl. This picture reminds me of all the magic even during all the crazy.


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Love Myself Because John Said So

I’m required to participate when it’s my husband. And I do need this.

1. I like my smile. It seems to make others smile back. I have been told I smile with my whole self.

2. I like that I am a reader. I don’t get a lot of time for it, but I always have a book. I hope I instill this in my kids.

3. I am proud that despite how hard it is to coordinate, I work out regularly.

That’s about all I have time for now!

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Define

It has become politically incorrect to put labels on people and for some good reasons. In the past and still today unfortunately, many of these labels, black, gay, etc., are used to demean and repress those seen as Other. Yet labels have their place. Humans work better with a frame of reference. It gives us a jumping off point for our journey into the world outside ourselves. As long as we don’t make the labels more important that the people we are applying them to, they are a handy tool our brains use to cope with all the input we receive.
And while labeling the world around us is important, the most important labels are the ones we give ourselves. Some are simple: brunette, short, Greek, thirty-four. Others are a little more complex: funny, friendly, smart, forgetful. Then there are the ones we use to define ourselves, the ones that shape the decisions we make and the life we lead. They can come in a variety of categories. Career: Writer, Teacher, Librarian. Talents: Writing, Knitting, Photography. Family: Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother. Throughout our lives as we grow, they change. Some disappear, others are added. The level of importance of each always morphing along a sliding scale.
Some people have shining label that glow and drive them. They become not just a label but a definition of our core selves. Actress, Athlete, Reporter, Engineer, Professor, Artist, Volunteer, Activist. Especially in our youthful adulthood the career labels often are the ones of most important or at least daily focus. The family ones obviously grow in import if you choose to start a family with a significant other and perhaps children.
I never felt the pull of a Career. I had jobs I liked, that I worked hard at, but while they were labels, they were never definitions. I always felt my family connections more even at the time of my life when they are often more in the background. I have always been the most proud of being a good daughter and sister and then wife. And when I became a mother, I found my definition. I know it is the one label I was meant to carry and turn into a definition of my self. It is hard. It is exhausting. It is my natural state of being. That is an awesome understanding, and I love the truth of that statement. Yet I worry just a little. It is a definition that is fundamentally about others, one in which I can easily lose myself to the fulfillment of my children. Other parents I know still have careers and talents that are definitions, not just labels. They are of an import in their lives that they go to extraordinary lengths to juggle all the parts of their cores. I juggle diapers and toys, laundry and a vacuum, a part-time job and workouts. And I am very content. I wonder if I should be. Is it enough to have one definition and many labels? Will labels be enough when my kids no longer need constant attention? Maybe a label or two will then change to a definition. Who knows? Maybe I’m worrying for nothing. I am glad it is just a tiny worry, a rumination, really. I wonder if I am the only one who has it.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Define

It has become politically incorrect to put labels on people and for some good reasons. In the past and still today unfortunately, many of these labels, black, gay, etc., are used to demean and repress those seen as Other. Yet labels have their place. Humans work better with a frame of reference. It gives us a jumping off point for our journey into the world outside ourselves. As long as we don’t make the labels more important that the people we are applying them to, they are a handy tool our brains use to cope with all the input we receive.
And while labeling the world around us is important, the most important labels are the ones we give ourselves. Some are simple: brunette, short, Greek, thirty-four. Others are a little more complex: funny, friendly, smart, forgetful. Then there are the ones we use to define ourselves, the ones that shape the decisions we make and the life we lead. They can come in a variety of categories. Career: Writer, Teacher, Librarian. Talents: Writing, Knitting, Photography. Family: Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother. Throughout our lives as we grow, they change. Some disappear, others are added. The level of importance of each always morphing along a sliding scale.
Some people have shining label that glow and drive them. They become not just a label but a definition of our core selves. Actress, Athlete, Reporter, Engineer, Professor, Artist, Volunteer, Activist. Especially in our youthful adulthood the career labels often are the ones of most important or at least daily focus. The family ones obviously grow in import if you choose to start a family with a significant other and perhaps children.
I never felt the pull of a Career. I had jobs I liked, that I worked hard at, but while they were labels, they were never definitions. I always felt my family connections more even at the time of my life when they are often more in the background. I have always been the most proud of being a good daughter and sister and then wife. And when I became a mother, I found my definition. I know it is the one label I was meant to carry and turn into a definition of my self. It is hard. It is exhausting. It is my natural state of being. That is an awesome understanding, and I love the truth of that statement. Yet I worry just a little. It is a definition that is fundamentally about others, one in which I can easily lose myself to the fulfillment of my children. Other parents I know still have careers and talents that are definitions, not just labels. They are of an import in their lives that they go to extraordinary lengths to juggle all the parts of their cores. I juggle diapers and toys, laundry and a vacuum, a part-time job and workouts. And I am very content. I wonder if I should be. Is it enough to have one definition and many labels? Will labels be enough when my kids no longer need constant attention? Maybe a label or two will then change to a definition. Who knows? Maybe I’m worrying for nothing. I am glad it is just a tiny worry, a rumination, really. I wonder if I am the only one who has it.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone