Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I vaguely remember the day my parents told me they would be separating. They came into my room and both sat down on my bed, where they delivered a blow so huge I didn't believe it at first. I think I was ten. I didn't think this could possibly be happening to me. They had a good marriage,* I have no memory of them fighting. We were a happy family. Surely they would realize this and turn things back around. They couldn't get a divorce, it just wasn't possible. That kind of thing happened to other people, not me. My best friend was also my next door neighbor. I showed up at her house with tears running down my face, and she sat with me at the edge of my driveway while I cried.
Before long, I developed a persona of strength in adversity. It wasn't that big of a deal...a lot worse things happen to other people every day. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It was a character builder. That was my new catch phrase.
Throughout the next few years, there were so many little hurts I faced as a result of my parents' divorce. It hurt to see my mom French kissing another man. It hurt to see my dad lather himself with tanning oil and lay out by the apartment pool. Who was this person anyway? It hurt to realize I wasn't the center of my universe anymore. To hear the screaming matches down the hallway at my stepdad's house. For my mom to start smoking. For my dad to flirt with different women around me. For other grown-ups to tell me what to do as if they were my parents and had any authority over me. To realize that my mom and dad really weren't ever going to get back together again.
I learned to look for each cloud's silver lining. Hey, at least I got a cool new set of bedroom furniture. My dad bought me a lot of new things, and he started experimenting with gourmet cooking...he even bought a pasta maker which was really fun to use. My parents had joint custody, and I knew whenever I was so mad at whichever one I was with, it would only be a couple of days before I could be rid of them and around the other one who clearly loved me more. It meant I got a car as soon as I turned 16 so my parents wouldn't have to cart me back and forth anymore. My family made me cool and unique, no one else had a set up quite like mine.
As I grew older, I became thankful for each new family member and the unique perspectives they brought into my life. I recognized that I wouldn't be who I am today without them or without the divorce. I recognized that as far as being a child of divorce, I pretty much had it made in the shade. For me, divorce didn't mean a sudden change in standard of living, or pretty much cutting a parent out of my life; it didn't mean having to move to a different city, or even a different school district. Sure, it disturbed my life, but it didn't completely uproot it and turn it upside down.
And yet. And yet. Something's just not sitting quite right in my heart. Maybe all of these positives don't negate the negatives (yeah, I hear how that sounds.) Maybe they still don't make it ok. Fine, I'll just come right out and say it. No matter what blessings have come into my life as a result of my parents' divorce, it was still wrong. Maybe their marriage was screwed up enough that divorce really was the best option for them, really. But that still doesn't make it ok. IT WAS STILL WRONG. I had parts of my happy childhood cut short because of my parents' brokenness. I experienced a deep level of pain and wounding that I think I still have yet to enter fully into, and finding the silver lining doesn't make it ok. Now I'm not going to go and throw myself a pity party after all these years, because WE ALL have deep wounding from our childhood. But until I stop making excuses and acting like it's no big deal, I won't really find healing. And I'll keep inflicting my family and loved ones with learned dysfunction that maybe isn't necessary after all.
*Said my ten year old self. I'm not claiming this was actually the case.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I've decided that a good way to make the most of our middle of the night feedings (and keep me awake so I don't spend the whole night on the couch-yeah he sleeps in the living room for now) is to have Asher's baby journal handy in case I think of something I want to write to him. I've written in it twice so far, and who knows how long it will continue, but for now I like the idea. So, this story is one I'd been wanting to share, and now that I wrote it for Asher in the middle of the night, I suppose it's ready.
It was a few days after you were born that I felt my heart really open up to love you fully and completely, with all that I have. I think that before then some subconscious part of me had been holding back, fearful that loving you wholeheartedly was being untrue to AB. But I distinctly remember the moment, either on first our second day home from the hospital.
I was laying with you on the couch in the basement and you were asleep. I just looked at you, and in the moment of a heartbeat, I felt my eyes tear up and my heart expand, something like the Grinch whose 'heart grew three sizes that day.' I'm not sure how many sizes my heart grew, but I know that I lay there that evening and wept as I allowed myself to experience this profound thing called love. The love a mother or father has for their child is not something that can be explained, only experienced. But when you do experience it, it is perhaps the most beautiful thing in the world. And I'm so, so thankful for those moments, in the first few days of your life, when my heart grew and I fell utterly and completely in love with you.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
PS-Family Members...if you like this photo book and want your own copy, you can click on the link above and get it!
Monday, March 25, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
So the idea is that each person comes to the shower with a bead and a blessing for momma/birth/baby, they all share said blessing, and I get a fun piece of jewelry to wear throughout the rest of my pregnancy and birth to remind me of the blessings, well wishes, and love from my friends. The shower was almost a week ago, and I just got around to making them into a bracelet last night, but I'm really happy that I finally did, and exited to wear this until baby comes (hopefully at least another week!). Although it's a bit heavy for a bracelet, so I'm thinking of heading to a craft store, buying some jewelry making wire, and turning it into a necklace. Perhaps after my oil change this morning.