Being, Just to Be

You know what’s underrated? Carefree abandon. I hope all of you had at least one moment of carefree abandon today. I am becoming a big fan of moments infused with it. For me, that means making choices when my analyzer is switched off. Enjoying the moment, the activity, the decision; sometimes it’s very freeing to just be or just do and not always consider how it will impact anything else in my life. 

The latest in carefree abandon: Dance-offs with my frequently naked 3 1/2 year old. Normally I would insist on a pull-up since he isn’t exactly house-broke, but lately he has decided being naked is what it’s all about, so we’re rolling with it. Mostly because its unfathomably adorable. Maybe it will give him a little incentive to realize how nice it can feel not to have a pull-up on all the time? Maybe? Yeah I know, probably not. 

We enjoyed a great weekend filled with family goodness, now that we are both much less committed to work at this very second: Visiting the zoo, finally setting up the pool, blowing hundreds of bubbles in the backyard to make “a magic giant bubble.” A family could spend a lot of time blowing a lot of bubbles with the goal of a bubble that is both giant and magical. 😊 

The bubble is not in the picture, but I assure you, it was awesome.


 

E posed next to this gigantic sleeping/dead crocodile. I am confident that this experience will only take up very little of the therapy time he will now likely need as an adult.

 
 Another reason this weekend rocked was we finally said goodbye to the hellacious heatwave that singed all my flowers, killed my grass, and kept me a prisoner in my own home. My own non-air conditioned home. Well, except one room I held up in during the siege. Some people flit about fresh as flowershop daisies on the ninth consecutive day of 100 degree temperatures. I’m not one of those people. I’m more like the actual daisies in the backyard listing dangerously to the side or collapsing in upon themselves, because they have already wisely given up. The first three or four days of blazing heat they stood strong, believing help was coming. By the sixth day, they accepted their fate and fell over. That’s me. I don’t need to be a hero when it’s 100 degrees. Whatever needs to be done can wait until we are back in the 80 degree range, am I right?

Consequently, this will be the last year we make excuses about the “necessity” of air conditioning. Every single year the hubs and I discuss getting it, then justify our way back out by reasoning that there really are only 3-4 days a summer we really need it and it just isn’t worth the expense. Bollocks. We need it bad, and it is for sure worth the expense. Coming to our home Fall 2015: Air conditioning. Sweet, sweet air conditioning. 

No adoption updates in quite some time now, but life is good and our faith is intact. 😇 We are considering redoing our online and book portfolios, something I dread since the first one took almost 60 hours to make. But, you do whatcha gotta do, right? 

Stop in and follow the journey from the beginning! 

www.borrowedgenes.com

 

Pondering an Alternate Universe 

Part of the struggle of infertility/adoption can be the toll it takes on a marriage. In fact, couples who suffer from infertility are three times more likely to end up divorced. The flip side of this is that couples who cling to one another through the highs and lows are amazingly strong because of it. I imagine this is true for any adversity that befalls a couple. 

The way I see it, you’ve got to be a rock solid team in order to survive the heartbreak that comes with infertility. I’m learning each day that this is is even more true with the adoption process. The uncertainty, the waiting, the hurting, all are easily capable of compromising a marriage. I’m exceptionally lucky that I just happened to be married to a man that is both strong enough to handle the unpredictability and heartache and also shares my “whatever it takes” attitude. He also happens to love me a whole bunch, and I am also rather fond of him. 

Today, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy as we wait for “The Call.”  Then I started having a movie montage of our lives running through my head, and I have to write it out of there or it will keep playing on a loop. Is this normal behavior or do most people experience montages from time to time?  Hmmm. 

Seven years of our nine year marriage has involved the struggle to build a family one way or another. From day one, we decided to go after our dreams together.  It wasn’t hard to agree on a game plan; we both wanted children above all else, and couldn’t imagine our lives without them. So while other couples were buying new cars, or traveling, or spending money on things other than the pursuit of children, we banked all our extra nickels and dimes for the next fertility treatment. When we decided my body had been through enough, we started putting whatever extra we had away for adoption.  I’m definitely not complaining; I’m grateful we have had a little extra to squirrel away a bit at a time. The Internet is full of couples trying to fund their adoptions using “Go Fund Me” or other methods of crowd sourcing, because it’s their only hope. 

I wouldn’t change a thing about our life, the good or the bad. But I can’t help but wonder what our lives would have looked like if we hadn’t been an infertile couple. I think it would be pretty cool to see our lives in an “alternate universe” like tv shows do sometimes, where the main character sees how desperately unhappy they would have been if the biggest burden they carried in real life had never existed, or if it had been someone else’s problem. The point of course, is that the main character always realizes at the end that they are so much richer in character and happier in their situation than they ever could have been in the alternate universe. I already know that’s true for the hubs and I, I just think it would be interesting to see what it would have looked like. I think we probably wouldn’t have E, and I don’t want anything to do with a world that’s missing our sweetest miracle. 

Right now though, I could definitely live without the anxiety that comes with waiting for this phone call. I really could. 

Answer: I’m a Mother

Why do mothers of all kinds, stay at home, work from home, work outside the home,  forget to realize that being a mother is a very real and legit job? In the back of my brain, behind all the cobwebs, I’m well aware of the truth. I know how important my work is.  But I have noticed that sometimes, I find myself feeling like I need to justify “what I do all day.” To be fair, no one has ever asked me this question. If they had, I would be writing this from prison. Even a simple inquiry such as, “Yesterday was so beautiful! How do you and E end up enjoying the day?” will make me cringe if I can’t come up with a fascinating Stepford mommy answer lickety-split. “Well first, we went outside, and while E was telling me the difference between a deciduous tree and a coniferous tree using Latin terms, we spotted a caterpillar! This led to an excellent teachable moment where I planned to explain to him how the caterpillar develops into a butterfly. I had barely began when he interrupted me to finish explaining the life cycle of a caterpillar! I was so proud, and I completely forgot that I had already taught him all about it during our regular nature walks last spring. Then we decided to have a picnic lunch, so we went inside and made sandwiches from homemade gluten-free bread. Wait until I tell you about our afternoon!”

That would impress the socks off you, right? There’s a mom who’s doing her job like a boss! Now, what would you think if I answered your question honestly? “Um, let’s see. Our day didn’t really start until 11 AM because I was up with E holding warm compresses on his ear every couple hours. After lunch, E seemed to feel well enough to go outside to play, so we headed out to the yard to throw a ball around. We had been outside for five seconds, possibly ten, when E heard a bee. He didn’t see the bee, but he heard the bee, and he was pretty sure the buzzing was getting louder because the bee was getting closer and it was hell bent on stinging him. I did see the bee, a giant bumble that was pollinating my flowers, so I tried to explain to E that most bees are very helpful and have no interest in stinging. I had gotten three words out when he turned and raced at top speed back to the house and began pounding on the patio door to get inside, sobbing for me to hurry lest the bee attack and sting me, too. When he calmed down, I made him his lunch of macaroni and cheese from a box and some green beans that were probably the GMO kind. I dunno, I got them on sale. Wait until I tell you about our afternoon!”

No mother that I know likes to be asked how she spends her time on the job. There aren’t any tests or systems of measurement that tell you how good you are doing and therefore you are left to your own imagination. You can’t enter your activities into an app each night and ask it to calculate your level of productivity for that day. No supervisor* shows up at your residence periodically to “observe” you in action and evaluate your efficacy, leaving you with some strategic suggestions for areas that need improvement.

Perhaps the key lies in redefining what a “job” actually is. Is it about money? If you have a real job, is it a requirement you receive a real paycheck? What about people who receive money but have no job, like Paris Hilton or pick-a-Kardashian?

When I was a teacher, I didn’t justify nothin’ to no one. One answer to all questions: I’m a teacher. Mic drop.

It is high time to stop letting me manipulate…..me. I don’t owe the world a big fat explanation about what I do all day. I’m a mother, and that should tell you all you need to know, Joe.

*Under no circumstances should your spouse attempt to fulfill your desperate need for evaluation. Just, no.