with my mind on the moment and the moment on my mind

The house – which, by the way, we took off the market for now; more on that later – is quiet. My mom was here today, which means we had a great great day. Bram just lights up around his Bubbie, and for my part, I love getting to see my mom be a grandma. Love it ferociously. She’s just amazing. But now the house is quiet. Bram and J are sleeping, and I want to drink a glass of wine, and do some stretching, and read a book. And maybe watch an old episode of something. But first, a wee update.

Yesterday was my thirty-fifth birthday (shout out to ’78ers!), and I think it was my best one yet. J surprised me by taking the day clean off, so I slept in (until 8:30!; she was up with the boy at 6), and was awoken with a card Bram picked out and colored himself, and breakfast on the table. My wife, she knows her girl. So what else? Oh yeah, then we did a little insemination (J’s body) before heading on a smashingly great day-trip that included shopping (with a gift card: a skirt that as it turns out is also a dress because the universe loves me after all!), and eating at an amazing outdoor cafe (local produce. local meat. big umbrellas to shade the tables. the honor system for seating.), and a ferry boat ride (which B LOVED of course, and which came with white boys rapping), and a dozen other lovely birthday delights. It was a great great day. I seriously cannot stop smiling when I think about it.

Oh, but that insemination I just glossed over. :) J’s cycles are still screwy and we had pretty much decided to just send the sperm back because the timing was so strange, but when she surged the day before my birthday, the possibility felt charged, so we went for it. I mean, a birthday insemination worked out for our friends N, D, and R, and that’s good company right there. We may not try again while we live in Michigan. Or we may try once more. We can’t try much beyond that even if her cycles regulate because if I find tenure-track work we’ll be moving next July, and I’ll be starting full-time teaching the following fall, and I’m not willing to have no maternity leave. (More on this, the new only big thing that tortures me.)

So anyway, we’re likely not to get pregnant. Or, you know, we could. But here’s something you’ve never heard me say before: we’re feeling pretty damn laid back about the whole thing. Really. Open and excited, but not attached. Staying in the moment and not making a thousand decisions ahead on every possible contingency. We’ve also just completed (almost totally) our licensure to adopt through the foster care system. We have an AMAZING social worker, and we’re all set up for placement of permanent wards of the state, which means kids whose parents have already had their rights terminated. That means a (likely) much longer wait, but the alternative is reunification being the goal, and that’s just… we’re not there. Anyway, our social worker has warned us that placement is unlikely given our timing, but she’s concomitantly optimistic, so who knows. We are open to being contacted about children birth through five (with lots of caveats), so we’ll see. We’ll just see. It’s as much of a waiting game as anything else, and I’ll be damned if we haven’t sort of embraced that. We could have a four-year-old by September is what I’m saying. Or we could be pregnant now. Or we could leave here next year as a family of three. And yet (enter the crazy part): I’m not frightened of any of these possibilities. They each come with their own challenges, but they each come with their own gifts too. I’m excited to see which gifts are in store for us. Really. Like, almost no trauma or feeling tortured. As my wife said tonight, this is the new laid back RLG. She may not stick around, but she’s fun while we have her. ;)

In the meantime, this winter-girl is madly in love with summer. We are soaking up the playground trips, and Bram’s little bike, and the new bat and ball we got him today. That kid, man. Just try not to be happy around him. And J and I are good. I had a GREAT time at the insemination yesterday (which because of timing, we had to do with an actual MD in an actual office). I wore B on my back through the whole thing. I wandered the halls with him while J rested after. We checked out the roof. I love the freedom of supporting her. Of being with our boy. NGPhood has so many profound privileges; it just takes a little work to see them.

Things aren’t perfect. I’m falling down on the friend front and I don’t know how to fix it. I feel like all the minutes disappear. It’s mostly parenting a toddler with no childcare, but it’s also grief and it’s also family and it’s just that time feels so different now. But friendship, my sisters… they mean so much to me. How do y’all manage friendship when your kiddos are young? Especially with friends who don’t have kids? Anyway, things aren’t perfect. I’m pretty sure grief is making me sensitive and rabble-rousy and contentious. I actually told a mama that I wouldn’t help her with babywearing because she openly supports “traditional marriage.” I told her this publicly. Through social media. In a babywearing group that I started. I keep wondering if that’s douchy (and stupid? because I might have opened her mind?) or just reasonable. Mostly, though, I just don’t care. It’s a fucked up world, and I try to do my part, but holy hell sometimes it has to be reasonable just to say fuck off, right? So things aren’t perfect. But seriously, folks, they sure are sweet anyway.

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5 thoughts on “with my mind on the moment and the moment on my mind

  1. Before I had gotten to your last paragraph, H said to me, “I can’t believe she didn’t tell you they were doing an insemination on her birthday!?!?!?!?” And I was like, _____ (basically, the stuff you ended up saying in your last paragraph about friendship and all the minutes and ME TOO). Also, holy hell, NO that is NOT douchy. That lady is douchy. Of course fuck off is not perfect but it IS the reasonable/right thing sometimes. Sometimes a lot of times when you’re juggling a full, busy toddler-riffic life and the grief.

  2. I am so so excited for you and your possibilities. There are SO many of them. And how very brave of you to be looking forward to any of them and to simply discovering which possibilities will come to fruition. Not needing things to be perfect and being able to enjoy the loveliness that exists in the absence of perfection is such an admirable skill. Sounds like you are in a good good place. Oh and the friends part….they will be there when you find more time. The good ones will be there no matter what. That is the beauty of a good friend.

  3. Happy Birthday R! 78 was a good year for some spectacular people ;) So many exciting things for your family…I hope you can continue to enjoy the uncertainty and possibilities. As far as friends go…I have no answers for you (and if you come up with any, send them my way, please). I am sitting home alone in my house for the first time (for more than an hour or two) in…. several years, I think. When Greg travels, I am with my kids 24 hours a day, 5.5 days a week for months at a time. The quiet and stillness right now is stunning. It makes me aware of just how much my life is consumed by my little kids. I consciously and continually choose to live my life this way and I have no regrets. It is a life, though, that demands a lot. I think it would be easier to have close friends If I could give them time and my full attention, but as it is, my attention is always divided in at least three different directions and I have no space for more. I can’t say I feel lacking exactly, but it would be nice from time to time to find someone else in a similar place. .

  4. Happy Birthday!

    So very excited at the prospect of you adding to your family. My fingers are crossed for all of you. Please do keep us updated.

    Also, I’m sure your friends are understanding of everything you’ve had/have going on in your life right now. From what I’ve seen you’ve got an amazing network of people who adore and support both you and your family. Though I know it is hard to ask for help and it can still feel lonely at times. You have my number (I think) if you ever need someone to chat with.

    P,S, Re. The babywearer: It’s totally fine not to want to help people sometimes. She doesn’t seem to support you and you’re far from obligated to support her.

  5. As someone who doesn’t have kids yet (and who has an abundance of friends who do), I love being invited for playground/trips with my friends and their kids (it helps that I also love their kids). The kids will run off to play and we’ll sit around chatting and catching up. I can talk like a toddler parent (stop mid-sentence, pause for the kid to finish talking, and resume mid-sentence), so it helps. If you’re going to the park, ask them if they want to come along and hang out!

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